Ivory Coast customs revenues hit nearly $2 bln in 2012

ABIDJAN Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:39pm EST

ABIDJAN Jan 11 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, earned 974 billion CFA francs ($1.98 billion) in customs revenues in 2012, the director of the West African nation's customs agency said on Friday.

Nearly two-third of revenues, or 622 billion CFA francs, came from customs duties on general merchandise. 239 billion CFA francs were earned on exports. And customs duties on petroleum products accounted for 111 billion CFA francs.

"From a target of 934.4 billion CFA francs, the state customs authority recovered during the year 2012 the amount of 973.98 billion CFA francs," Issa Coulibaly told a conference in the commercial capital Abidjan.

Coulibaly said the agency was targeting revenues of 1.175 trillion CFA francs in 2013.

Ivory Coast, once the economic motor of French-speaking West Africa, is recovering from a decade of political turmoil that stalled its economy. A brief civil war ended the impasse in 2011 but blocked trade at the port of Abidjan, a major regional hub, for several months.

Last year saw a successful turn-around with GDP growth of more than 8.5 percent, from a 4.7 percent contraction. ($1 = 491.5190 CFA francs) (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Joe Bavier; editing by Ron Askew)