Côte d’Ivoire is the gateway and central hub into the West African regional market and offers exciting opportunities for investment. The West African region is projected to grow by 4.6 percent in 2023, according to the World Bank 2022 country report. Côte d’Ivoire’s economy boasts one of the fastest sustained economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa, owing to nearly a decade of real GDP growth averaging 8.2 percent between 2012 and 2019, and a growing middle class and rising standard of living. In 2023, Côte d’Ivoire’s GDP growth is projected top 6 percent. As the economic engine of Francophone West Africa, the country accounts for more than 39 percent of the total West African Monetary Union (WAEMU); many international companies select Côte d’Ivoire as a base for regional headquarters and operations. The country is a frequent venue of choice for many international events like the Africa-CEO Forum and the 2024 African Cup of Nations.
The government is actively pursuing a forward-leaning private sector-led growth model. The government welcomes foreign direct investment by offering favorable tax incentives to companies in accordance with priorities identified in its 2021-2025 National Development Plan (PND – Plan National de Développement). The government is paying very close attention to international rankings in the ease of doing-business to increase its attractiveness to foreign direct investment. In May, the Investment Promotion Agency in Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI-Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d’Ivoire) established a help center and one-stop shop to assist English-speaking investors enter the Ivoirian market. In particular, the government is focused on boosting the digital economy; hydro-electric, solar, and thermal electricity generation capacity; and youth employment opportunities throughout the country. Given the central role that agriculture plays in the economy, numerous business opportunities exist in agribusinesses, especially in the value-added processing of cocoa, cashews, rubber, cotton, palm oil, tropical fruits (mango, others), and rice. Also, available for lease are industrial parks with prefabricated buildings for “easy setup of light manufacturing.” Additional commercial and investment opportunities exist in the sale of construction equipment and machinery and infrastructure development. The country’s young population is an asset, comprising the majority of the available workforce: about 3/4 of people are under 35.
Since August 2019, Côte d’Ivoire partnered with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on a $536.7 million, six-year Compact grant to address the country’s biggest constraints to economic growth: limited transportation mobility around Abidjan for people and goods, and low levels of basic, technical, and vocational skills. In 2020, Côte d’Ivoire rose from the Lower-Income to the Lower-Middle Income category, according to the World Bank’s income classification, and remains eligible to receive additional MCC assistance to develop the regional energy sector.
For background information on the political and economic environment of the country, please click on the link to the U.S. Department of State Countries & Areas website.