Republic of Congo - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities

Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and other business opportunities.

Last published date: 2020-11-29

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) affords Congo duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products.  Another 5,000 products are eligible for duty-free access under the Generalized System of Preferences program.  AGOA eligibility, which the Department of State re-certifies each year, means that Congo has established or is progressing toward establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process.  AGOA eligibility also signifies no barriers to U.S. trade and investment. 

A strategic link in the region, Congo boasts Central Africa’s only deepwater port, the Port of Pointe-Noire, which complies with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.  Pointe-Noire hosts a modern airport that opened in 2019.  A railway connects Pointe-Noire to the capital of Brazzaville, whose new airport opened in 2018.  The African Development Bank is working to facilitate the construction of a road-rail bridge to across the Congo River that would connect Brazzaville with Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Years of overinvestment in the petroleum sector have left opportunities in a number of markets that are ready to grow.  Agriculture, tourism, transportation, and energy are promising sectors.  While only a fraction of the size of the oil industry, forestry is currently the second-largest sector of the economy and continues to expand.  Congo has much unused arable land, providing potential for mechanized agriculture and associated food processing endeavors. According to recent estimates only four percent of Congo’s arable land is being farmed.

As a member of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, Congo uses the Central African franc (CFA).  The CFA is pegged to the Euro (CFA 656 = 1 Euro) and offers predictability to investors. 

Finally, Congo offers uncommon stability in a sensitive and volatile region.  The country has historically experienced instances of localized fighting and a civil war in 1997.  The current situation shows no signs of deteriorating, however, and the government of longtime President Denis Sassou Nguesso maintains robust security and police forces to maintain order.