Equatorial Guinea is considered by the United Nations as a country of medium development.
The economy of Equatorial Guinea is characterized by its affiliation to the hydrocarbon sector.

The hydrocarbon sector accounts for more than 70% of GDP, almost all of exports and between 85 and 90% of state revenues.

The development of the country is due to the export of its petroleum resources, which, although it began in 1992, reached a relevant level five years later.

Revenues from the hydrocarbon sector have allowed some development of other activities, but their weight in the economy is limited. Among these activities is the construction of public works (within the Development Plan - Horizon 2020).

The IMF estimates that the construction sector currently accounts for 15% of Equatorial Guinea's GDP. The financial, commerce, transport and hospitality sectors are less important, although they only represent 1% of GDP. The rest of the primary sector - agriculture, fisheries and forestry - has been progressively reducing its weight and currently represents less than 1.2% of GDP.

Domestic consumption, both public and private, has a marked tendency towards growth in the last 20 years. This variable has represented between 10 and 15% of GDP in the last decade.
The role of the foreign sector is fundamental in the economic activity of Equatorial Guinea, either because of its hydrocarbon exports, which account for almost all of its exports, and more than 70% of GDP, as well as its much more diverse imports that represent between 50 and 70% of GDP.
Equatorial Guinea represents an open rate between 125% and 150%, typical of very open economies abroad.

In the UNDP Human Development Index (data for 2015), it ranks 138th in the category of countries with medium development.

Regarding Guinean exports, China has stood out in the last three years as the main recipient of hydrocarbons from the country. The United Kingdom was second in the 2013-2014 period. However, the United States has ceased to be the main importer of hydrocarbons, reducing in recent years its importation, probably due to the greater energy autonomy of the country as a result of the introduction of new technologies for the export of hydrocarbons.