DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN TRADE
Despite a trend toward diversification and expansion in recent years, the Ivory Coast's foreign trade in 1962 still resembled the classical colonial pattern. In general terms, its exports consisted of the primary products of tropical agriculture, and its imports, of manufactured or processed goods. Molded by France's long-standing policy of complementary and noncompetitive exchange between its West African territories and the metropolis, the pattern was one of heavy dependence on France, not only as a preferential market but as a favored supplier. The narrow and rather exclusive economic relationships of colonial days which linked the Ivory Coast so closely to France also hindered the development of commercial ties with other African territories. Consequently, the Ivory Coast's external African trade, even with its nearest neighbors, was of only minor importance in 1962.
In 1962, although the preferential arrangements with France resulted in an artificial pattern of trade, hindered diversification of export products, and were an obstacle to expansion of commercial relations with other countries, they were benefiting the Ivory Coast, at least for the time-being. For some years the volume and value of trade has been on the increase, and since 1950 the balance has been continuously favorable, in spite of heavy imports for development of the country's infrastructure. The position was strengthened by a substantial flow of financial aid, mainly from European sources, which was expected to continue for at least 5 years.
Despite a recent increase in the volume and variety of products, the trading base of the Ivory Coast still has the fundamental weakness found in most underdeveloped economies--heavy reliance on the export of a few primary raw commodities. In 1961 coffee and cocoa comprised well over half of the country's total exports, and together with timber and bananas, brought in over nine-tenths of the export earnings. Furthermore, the gains from these commodities were to a considerable extent dependent on artificially high prices in a protected and subsidized market in France and, through France, in the European Economic Community (EEC) (composed of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy--Common Market countries, sometimes called the European Six).
In the fall of 1962 there was uncertainty in the Ivory Coast over