The economy of Réunion has traditionally been based on agriculture. Sugarcane has been the primary crop for more than a century, and in some years it accounts for 85% of exports. The government has been pushing the development of a tourist industry to relieve high unemployment, which amounts to more than 40% of the labour force.
The gap in Réunion between the well-off and the poor is large and accounts for the persistent social tensions. The outbreak of severe rioting in February 1991 illustrated the seriousness of socio-economic tensions. However, this gap has been closing in the last 15 years.
In 2007 the GDP per capita of Réunion at nominal exchange rates, not at PPP, was €17,146 (US$23,501). However, while this is exceptionally high compared with its neighbours in Madagascar and the African continent, it is only 57% of the 30,140 euros per capita GDP of metropolitan France in 2007. The total GDP of the island was US$18.8 billion in 2007.
Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien (BFCOI) is a French bank that since 2003 has been jointly owned by Mauritius Commercial Bank and Société Générale. It has its headquarters in Saint Denis, Réunion. It has more than 360 employees and more than 80 000 clients in its operations in Réunion (13 branches), Mayotte (three branches), and Paris (one branch), which primarily engages in private banking.Brasseries de Bourbon
The Brasseries de Bourbon ("Breweries of Bourbon") is the only major producer of beer on Réunion Island, formerly known as Bourbon Island, a French overseas department in the Indian Ocean.
The group was founded in 1962 and in 1986 Heineken bought a stake in the company. The first product of the brasseries, and by far now their most sold and widely known, is the blonde lager Bourbon, known popularly as Dodo, named after the now extinct bird of Mauritius. Its logo of a smiling dodo and the creole slogan la dodo lé la (the dodo is here) are found painted on the walls of establishments selling the beer. Since 1996, the group also produces some white and reddish beers. In addition, it also imports and bottles a variety of other drinks.Mineral industry of Réunion
Production of mineral commodities represents only a small part of the economy of Réunion, although little quantitative information is available. As of 2006, aggregates, cement, and seacoast coral continued to meet local construction needs. Réunion is not a globally significant mineral producer or consumer.The privately owned Holcim (Réunion) S.A. is the most significant producer of mineral products in Réunion. In 2006, the company produced an estimated 400,000 t of cement by grinding imported clinker. The company also produced 1.3 million metric tons of aggregates from plants at Bras Panon and Saint-Joseph.Tourism in Réunion
Tourism is an important part of the economy of Réunion, an island and French overseas departement in the Indian Ocean. Despite its many tourism assets, the island's tourist attractions are not well known.
States with limited