Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 1/9/2017
Côte d’Ivoire is among the fastest growing economies in the world and one of the most dynamic in West Africa.  This positive outlook is underpinned by an improved political environment and stable inflation.  The Government of Côte d’Ivoire (GOCI) has worked hard to improve its investment climate and build economic infrastructure to allow businesses to thrive.  The country welcomes foreign investment and hopes to attract more than $37.5 billion in private sector investments through public-private partnerships to implement its 2016-2020 National Development Plan (NDP).  The NDP  aims to boost sustained and inclusive growth through proposed large infrastructure projects, driven by the private sector.  With this plan based on the lessons learned from the implementation of the previous one, Côte d’Ivoire hopes to structurally transform its economy and achieve emerging market status in 2020. Côte d'Ivoire has been a business and transportation hub for the entire West African region since the early 1960s.  After the end of the 2011 political crisis, Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has rebounded sharply, resulting in 7.9 percent GDP growth in 2014 and 8.4 percent GDP growth in 2015.  Robust growth is expected to continue with forecasts of 8.5 percent GDP in 2016 and 8 percent GDP in 2017. 

The GOCI has implemented measures to strengthen transparency, improve governance and attract businesses.  The investment agency, the Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI), created in 2012, has been instrumental in attracting investment and helping companies open in Côte d’Ivoire.  A new commercial court was created to help ensure impartiality and accelerate dispute resolution.  The GOCI liberalized the investment code and enacted mining and telecommunication codes to improve the operational environment for businesses in those sectors.

Côte d’Ivoire’s mining potential is significant, with untapped resources, including gold, copper, iron ore, manganese, bauxite and diamonds.  In April 2014, the United Nations Security Council lifted the diamond export ban that had been in place since 2005.  Recent oil discoveries have been made in the Gulf of Guinea and major projects are underway to boost the country’s hydroelectric and thermal power capacity.  Numerous business opportunities exist in agribusinesses, especially value-added processing of cocoa, cashews, rubber, cotton, palm oil and rice.  Other opportunities exist in the sale of construction equipment and machinery; power generation; oil, gas and mining exploration; and infrastructure development.  Côte d’Ivoire is a beneficiary country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

General Market Overview & Trade Statistics:

• Côte d’Ivoire‘s economy grew 7.9 percent in 2014, with 8.4 percent growth in 2015;
• Agriculture comprises 30 percent of economic activity and engages approximately 60-70 percent of the population.  Cocoa production was 1.760 million tons in the 2014/2015 season (the highest in the world), generating approximately $ 2.6 billion in revenue, accounting for about 30 percent of GDP;
• Oil and gas production, according to Government of Côte d’Ivoire statistics, totaled 7 million barrels of oil and 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas in 2015. Oil and petroleum-related exports generated an estimated $2 billion in revenues in 2015;
• Gold production was 23.5 metric tons in 2015, a 15 percent increase compared to 2014.
• Côte d’Ivoire’s major trading partners are Nigeria, France, Ghana, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, China, and Thailand.  In 2014, exports to the United States totaled $239 million and totaled $264 million in 2015; and imports from the United States totaled $1.2 billion in 2014 and $1 billion in 2015 (about 12 percent of the import market). Major imports include consumer goods, basic foodstuffs, and capital goods.
(Sources: IMF, Ministry of Economy, National Statistical Office, Economist
Intelligence Unit)

Other key statistical sources:​

• Côte d’Ivoire’s National Institute of Statistics http:/www.ins.ci/n/
• West African Central Bank - http://www.bceao.int/
• World Bank - Côte d’Ivoire, Data and Statistics – see country sheet at http://www.worldbank.org
• UN Development Program, “Côte d’Ivoire Human Development Indicators”
- http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/CIV.html
• World Bank - Côte d’Ivoire at a Glance -http://data.worldbank.org/country/Côte-divoire  
• Ministry of Finance - http://www.minecofin.gouv.ci/
• National Treasury - http://www.tresor.gouv.ci
 

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    C te d Ivoire Trade Development and Promotion