St. Thomas & Prince

São Tomé and Príncipe (officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe) or Saint Thomas and Prince in English, is an island country located in the Gulf of Guinea. The official currency for São Tomé & Príncipe is the São Tomé & Príncipe dobra (STD). It is often shown locally with the symbol "Db." The currency is composed of 100 cêntimos, but due to inflation, cêntimos has been made virtually worthless. São Tomé and Príncipe was a Portuguese colony from 1470 and gained its independence in 1975. The escudo, the country’s previous currency, was replaced by the São Tomé & Príncipe dobra in 1977 at a rate of 1:1. The word dobra originates from the Portuguese word dóbra which means "doubloon".

Coins were struck in lower denomination dobras (one, two, and five) and cêntimos in 1977. Due to inflation, these coins have been made obsolete and the government issued new coins in 1997 with higher denominations to follow with the rising prices. The current denominations of the dobra include coins of 100, 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 dobras and banknotes of 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 dobras. The dobra was pegged to the euro (EUR) in 2010 at a fixed exchange rate of 1 EUR to 24,500 STD.

Historically, the economy of Sao Tome and Principe was primarily dependent on the production and export of cocoa beans. Still, because of a persistent drought in the country, exports of cocoa beans have dwindled in recent years. Other local agricultural exports from Sao Tome and Principe include palm oil and coffee, and the government is earnestly investing in its tourism industry.

As of 2020, Sao Tome and Principe had a gross domestic product of $418.6 million with yearly GDP growth of 1.3% and an inflation rate of 5.7% in 2019, but with confined local production. As a result, the country relies heavily on imports for everything from fuel to food and manufactured goods. Because of this, domestic prices are susceptible to international price fluctuations. The one exception to this is the fixed oil prices. A nascent oil extraction industry exists in the Gulf of Guinea, which the country is developing in association with its neighbor Nigeria. These new deep-sea oil fields could help attract new series of foreign investments and promote the country's economy. However, analysts do not expect the production of oil to begin until after 2020.

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