Doing Business in Cote d’Ivoire

For U.S. companies, the Ivoirian market offers a number of opportunities as well as challenges.  The Ivoirian economy, the largest economy in francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the fastest growing on the continent.  Having recovered from a decade of instability and political crisis in the previous decade, the country has seen seven years of growth averaging eight percent and the favorable growth is projected to continue.

Perhaps best known as the world’s leading cocoa exporter, Côte d’Ivoire also exports cashews, coffee, palm oil, cotton, and rubber, making it the 4th largest  exporter of goods in sub-Saharan Africa behind South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola.  The development of new gold mines in recent years in the central and northern areas of the country has also contributed to national economic growth.

Côte d’Ivoire has a relatively well-developed energy and road infrastructure but has tremendous needs translating to more commercial opportunities. Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, is rapidly expanding its port and airport in order to serve as a major regional hub.  The national airline Air Côte d’Ivoire offers direct flights to most West African capitals.

Côte d’Ivoire has an investment promotion center, CEPICI (centre des promotions des investissments en Côte d’Ivoire), which provides investment information and assistance for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Côte d’Ivoire.  Registering a business can be completed in as little as 24 hours.

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