Gabon - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

Describes how major projects are secured and financed. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects. 

Last published date: 2021-10-12

U.S. firms interested in selling directly to the government should ensure that funds have been appropriated in the Gabonese budget for the items they wish to sell and ideally should receive partial payment in advance. The government has been criticized by the IMF and other international organizations for being late with payments to creditors, this problem worsened in 2015 and into 2016 due to fiscal mismanagement. In June 2021, IMF staff and the Gabonese authorities reached a staff-level agreement on a three-year Program under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to anchor the government’s policy and reform efforts, aimed at bolstering the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and paving the way for strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth. The IMF board approved the new program in July 2021.

As of mid-2018, the government implemented austerity measures in conjunction with IMF guidance to gain better control over fiscal management. U.S. companies bidding on Gabonese government tenders may also qualify for U.S. government advocacy.

A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy Center on Foreign Government Contracts and for additional information.

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales. Price, payment terms, and financing can be significant factors in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Guide to Doing Business with the Multilateral Development Banks. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank. Learn more by contacting the Advocacy Liaison for World Bank or for the Advocacy Liaison for World Bank Advocacy Liaison for African Development Bank.