Côte d’Ivoire is back in the spotlight!
In its heyday Côte d’Ivoire was world-renowned as the powerhouse of West Africa. Civil outbursts in the post-90’s period plunged the economy into deep crisis until the composition of a political coalition in 2010 led by the actual President H.E. Alassane Ouattara. Thus far, Côte d’Ivoire has been applauded for its political and economic stability.
The country recorded robust economic growth in recent years with GDP surging by 21% for the period 2012 to 2014 and peaked beyond 8% in 2015 and 2016 despite a slump in cocoa prices in global market. The country established its position as one of the most bullish economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank anticipates the momentum to persist while domestic growth should rotate above 7% year on year as from 2019. Inflation remained moderate at 1% in 2017 tied with a richer middle class and key macro-economic indicators trending upward, alongside Government objective to accelerating the structural transformation of the economy through industrialization.
Outward Investment flows from Mauritius to Côte d’Ivoire reached USD 245 million in 2015 and increased by 18% in 2016 to USD 289 million.
Private Equity Fund from Mauritius to Côte d’Ivoire averaged USD 645 Million from 2013 to 2015 and a record amount of USD 730 million in 2016. These achievements attest that the Mauritius International Financial Centre (MIFC) is growing in relevance.
Mauritius has enormous potential to emerge as a regional trade platform built on its sound economic eco-system. Tri-partite agreements and the recent African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) signed by 44 members states of the African Union are set to dynamise intra-African trade.
The remarkable economic achievements of Côte d’Ivoire and the Ivorian Government furtherance of reforms aimed at improving the country’s business climate and facilitating investment are some of the features which prompted the Economic Development Board (EDB) to spot the country as one of the key markets for an investment corridor. The organization sets into motion several initiatives to assert Mauritius footmark into the country.
The EDB has established several avenues of economic collaboration with several strategic African partners. New agreements have been signed with the Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI), International Network of Francophone Investment Promotion Agencies (RIAFPI) and Ivorian Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (FI-PME). These collaborations enabled the EDB to, outspread its influence in Côte d’Ivoire, acquire Business intelligence, secure strategic partners for coordination of Business Forums, trade and investment missions and to facilitate the entrance of Mauritian-based companies in the country.
The FIPME regroups over 30 SMEs associations, counting more than 5000 members across several industry sectors. The EDB and FIPME are currently collaborating on various projects, and this year, the EDB participated in the “7e Journées Nationales Promotionnelles des PMEs et de l’Artisanat’’ (JNPPME-A 2018) in Côte d’Ivoire, organised by the association in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of Côte d’Ivoire.
In November 2017, the EDB led an outward investment mission to Côte d’Ivoire in the margin of the AU-EU partnership forum. Mauritian economic operators keen on exploring investment prospects in Côte d’Ivoire were part of the delegation and participated in the AU-EU business Forum and the Networking BtoB forum organised by the EDB in collaboration with its Ivorian partners.
Both interactions served as a springboard to economic relations between market actors from both sides and several joint development projects are in the pipeline. Tagged to the mission, the stone laying ceremony for the construction of a twin tower within the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Grand Bassam was organised by the Mauritius Africa Fund (MAF) and the Village des Technologies de l’Information et de la Biotechnologie (VITIB).
The event was headed by the Hon. Prime Minister, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. Construction work of the towers is set to start by end of year.
To further acknowledge the special relations between Mauritius and Côte d’Ivoire, his Excellency Ambassador Amos Djadan Koffi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in South Africa with jurisdiction in Mauritius, accompanied by Mr. Oudorao Apajee, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire in Mauritius met with local stakeholders having economic interests in Côte d’Ivoire, at the EDB.
Discussion areas were based on collaboration avenues, the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) and the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA), amongst others.
His Excellency Ambassador Djadan extended an invitation to the economic operators to pay an official visit to Côte d’Ivoire and meet with targeted institutions and stakeholders. The participants also expressed the wish to have a business forum in the country.
Mauritius and Côte d’Ivoire are allies in the quest of a transformative journey and this worthy alliance is set to thrive. Côte d’Ivoire is drawing on its growing resilience to diversify its economy and drive forward industrialization to create value for the country. Local investors are thence advised to remain watchful of Côte d’Ivoire’s ongoing and upcoming progresses and to retain the country high on their radars.
Quick facts on Côte d’Ivoire