Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.
Characterized as one of the most stable economies in West Africa according to the World Bank, Côte d’Ivoire is a gateway into the West African market. The country has a growing middle class and rising standard of living. In 2019, the country’s GDP grew by 7.5 percent. Due to the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the GDP growth rate fell to 1.8 percent in 2020. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects the GDP growth rate will be 6 percent in 2021, assuming global conditions gradually normalize.
The Ivoirian government is pursuing a private sector-led growth model. The government welcomes foreign investment by offering tax incentives to companies choosing to move up the value chain and process commodities and goods domestically. Also on offer are industrial parks with prefabricated buildings for “easy setup of light manufacturing” factories. The government is paying close attention to international “doing-business” rankings to maintain and increase its attractiveness to foreign investment. To this end, the government is focused on boosting hydro-electric, solar, and thermal power generation capacity. Expansion projects started in August 2020, with the most recent tender going public in June 2021, on the existing three power plants. Given the central role agriculture plays in the economy, numerous business opportunities exist in agribusinesses, especially the value-added processing of cocoa, cashews, rubber, cotton, palm oil, and rice. Other opportunities exist in the sale of construction equipment and machinery, and infrastructure development.
The government updated the Investment Code in 2018 to improve the operational environment for businesses. Côte d’Ivoire is also a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and has had since August 2019 a US$ 524.7 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. In 2021, MCC graduated Côte d’Ivoire to the lower middle-income group.