LONDON Nov 30 Gabon's economy will expand by 7
percent in 2013, supported by double-digit growth in the non-oil
sector, the energy-exporting country's economy minister told
"We have 7 percent for three years - 2011, 2012, 2013," Luc
Oyoubi said on Thursday.
"For 2013, we think that oil will decline, but non-oil GDP
will certainly be very high. Still more than 10 percent."
That estimate is far more optimistic than the one given by
the International Monetary Fund, which last month predicted
Gabon's economic growth slowing to 2.3 percent next year from an
expected 5.6 percent in 2012.
Oyoubi however said the non-oil economy was expanding
strongly thanks to the government's infrastructure programme
which includes building roads and housing and he said that would
push overall growth to 7 percent.
Gabon issued a $1 billion Eurobond in 2007, one of the few
sub-Saharan African countries to do so, but the minister said
the government had not yet decided whether to return to global
capital markets next year.
Oil accounts for 45 percent of the former OPEC member's GDP.
With an estimated population of just 1.5 million, Gabon has one
of Africa's highest per capital GDP levels.
Gabon's energy minister told Reuters on Thursday that oil
production would rise next year to 230,000 barrels per
(Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; editing by Ron Askew)