Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, is a predominantly French- and Arabic-speaking country that offers arid bush, volcanic formations and beaches on the Gulf of Aden. Located in the Danakil Desert, Lake Assal, with its shallow waters, is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. The nomadic Afar people are settled along Lake Abbe, a salty body of water with chimney-like mineral formations.

General presentation

Official name: Republic of Djibouti
Type of regime: Republic
Surface area: 23 220 km2
Capital: Djibouti
Main cities: Djibouti, Ali Sabieh, Dikhil, Arta, Tadjoura
Official language(s): French, Arabic

National holiday: June 27 (Independence)

Population (2020): 1,000,000 (World Bank)
Density (2020): 41.3 inhabitants/km2 (World Bank)
Population growth (2020): +1.5%/year (World Bank)
Adult literacy rate (2019): 63

Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Economic situation

The country suffers from low availability of water resources, food insecurity, an energy deficit, lack of economic diversification, and heavy economic and trade dependence on Ethiopia. Djibouti has the strategic advantage of being located on the Bab-el- Mandeb Strait, one of the busiest maritime corridors in the world, which controls access to the Red Sea. this has led the Djibouti government to pursue a growth model focused on infrastructure development (ports, railroads). President IOG hopes to transform his country into a hub for the transit of goods with Ethiopia and a digital hub. These projects are largely financed by China. The risk of over-indebtedness to China is significant: currently two thirds of Djibouti’s foreign debt is held by China.
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Bilateral Relations

Bilateral investment treaties

Work in process

Double taxation agreements

Work in process

Free trade agreements

Work in process

Leading sector for Swiss companies

Work in process


201620172018 E2019 E
GDP (in billions of USD)1.892.082.192.39
GDP per capita (USD)1903198920852218
Growth rate6.
Unemployment rate48%
Inflation rate2.
Public debt (% of GDP)33.67731.82429.87627.950
Budget balance (% of GDP)-15.8-1.5
Current account balance (% of GDP)-9.4-13.8-14.3-14.8

(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main customers

Somalia (81.4% in 2016), Yemen (5.4% 2014), UAE (4.7%),(2014)
(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main suppliers

China (28.2%), Saudi Arabia (16.9%), India (10%), (2014
(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Swiss exports to

Work in process

Exports of …. to Switzerland

Work in process

Swiss direct investment in

Work in process

The business climate

Work in process