Among the 25 poorest countries in the world, Mali is a landlocked country that depends on gold mining and agricultural exports for revenue. The country’s fiscal status fluctuates with gold and agricultural commodity prices and the harvest; cotton and gold exports make up around 80% of export earnings. Mali remains dependent on foreign aid.
Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River and about 65% of its land area is desert or semidesert. About 10% of the population is nomadic and about 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. The government subsidizes the production of cereals to decrease the country’s dependence on imported foodstuffs and to reduce its vulnerability to food price shocks.
Mali is developing its iron ore extraction industry to diversify foreign exchange earnings away from gold, but the pace will largely depend on global price trends. Mali’s economic performance has improved since 2013 although physical insecurity, high population growth, corruption, weak infrastructure, and low levels of human capital remain hindrances to sustained growth.
AGOA apparel benefits for Mali were reinstated on January 1st 2014, however apparel benefits will not be reinstated until Mali reapplies for its visa arrangement. Mali benefits the Lesser Developed Country Special Rule for Apparel (3rd country fabric) and Lesser Developed Country Rule for Certain Textile Articles (Category 0) as well as Category 9 Textile Products (Handloomed / Handmade, folklore annex, ethnic printed fabrics).