This information is derived from the State Department’s Office of Investment Affairs’ Investment Climate Statement.
The U.S. Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements provide information on the business climates of more than 170 economies and are prepared by economic officers stationed in embassies and posts around the world. They analyze a variety of economies that are or could be markets for U.S. businesses. The Investment Climate Statements are also references for working with partner governments to create enabling business environments that are not only economically sound, but address issues of labor, human rights, responsible business conduct, and steps taken to combat corruption. The reports cover topics including Openness to Investment, Legal and Regulatory Systems, Protection of Real and Intellectual Property Rights, Financial Sector, State-Owned Enterprises, Responsible Business Conduct, and Corruption.
Investment Climate Statement (ICS) – Executive Summary
[Updated to reflect developments as of July 2022]
Despite enthusiasm for U.S. investment, there are significant obstacles to investing in Mali, including political instability, economic sanctions, allegations of corruption, poor infrastructure, and ongoing insecurity throughout the country. Mali remains under transition government rule after a coup d’etat in August 2020, followed by a further consolidation of military power in May 2021.
The U.S. Department of State maintains a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” travel advisory for Mali due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Continued insecurity throughout Mali is exacerbated by the minimal presence of the state in many areas and has permitted terrorist groups to conduct attacks against Western targets, Malian security forces, and civilians. Intercommunal violence stemming from conflict between livestock herders and crop farmers in central Mali further contributes to instability.
Mali depends on bilateral donors and multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and African Development Bank, to fund major development projects, particularly in health, infrastructure, education, and agriculture. Mali received significant financial support in 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to support post-pandemic economic recovery. Since then, however, donors such as Denmark and France have partially or fully interrupted their development support to Mali, intensifying the financing needs.
Business contacts report both Malian and foreign businesses face corruption in procurement, customs procedures, tax payment, and land administration, although the transition government has committed to undertaking reform, including through improved public financial management practices and increased tax revenues. Efforts to strengthen revenue collection agencies, particularly customs, are ongoing following significant revenue shortfalls in 2018 that the IMF attributed to corruption, weak taxpayer compliance, and fraud. Malian businesses generally view U.S. products favorably and openly search for new partnerships with U.S. firms, particularly in infrastructure, energy, mining, and agriculture.