President Ouattara declares Cote d’Ivoire open for business
Cote d‘Ivoire is open for business to all investors according to its President Alassane Ouattara. Speaking at the US- Africa Business Forum in New York this week President Ouattara said it did not matter if investors were from China, the Middle East or the US but the focus was on attracting the “…maximum amount of investment possible.” President Ouattara, whose second term ends in 2020, has been credited with stimulating stronger growth in Cote d’Ivoire by encouraging investment, reducing bureaucratic red tape and improving the country’s infrastructure. According to the IMF, economic growth, which has averaged 9% since 2012, is forecast at 8 to 8.5% between 2016 and 2017.
Port of San Pedro to get a face lift
One of the key infrastructure initiatives launched in Cote d’Ivoire is the expansion of the port of San Pedro. San Pedro is a major export gateway for commodities including cocoa, rubber and cotton. According to information from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bilal General Transport and Mediterranean Shipping Company based in the UAE and Switzerland respectively are expected to jointly invest in the project, with the former providing around 60% of the CFA 308bn financing need.
The city of San Pedro is therefore likely to develop into an even bigger trade hub linking southwestern Cote d’Ivoire to eastern Guinea and southern Mali.