- September 7, 2016
One of the most naturally exquisite and most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Gabon is truly a paradise on earth. Gabon is the talk of the town when it comes to eco-tourism, thanks to the government designating 10 percent of the country’s land to national parks. Gabon’s economy is dominated by oil. Oil revenues comprise roughly 46% of the government’s budget, 43% of gross domestic product (GDP), and 81% of exports. The chief products of Gabon’s industrial sector include refined petroleum, chemicals, food and beverages, textiles, and wood products. Despite this economic activity, the majority of Gabonese workers are engaged in subsistence farming, with sugarcane, cassava, plantains, and taro the chief crops. H.E. Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon has made efforts to increase transparency and is taking steps to make Gabon a more attractive investment destination to diversify the economy. He has attempted to boost growth by increasing government investment in human resources and infrastructure. GDP grew more than 6% per year over the 2010-12 period.
Gabon’s government has launched an ambitious public investment and reform program to transform the central African country into a diversified emerging market economy by 2025. Gabon’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) play a key role in Emerging Gabon’s industrial overhaul.
The creation of Special Economic Zones offers a number of fiscal benefits to investors:
Nkok Special Economic Zone:
1,100 hectares near the capital, Libreville.
Mandji Tax-Free Zone: 1,500
hectares near Gabon’s business capital, Port-Gentil.
The current and future Special Economic Zones will make it promising to build branched out clusters, “New, specialist cities”, with a noteworthy latent for making direct and indirect jobs. In this way, Emerging Gabon will allow diversified investment and foster the development of enterprises that are champions in their domain, with weight at regional and international level, which in turn will boost the activity of the entire SME sector. Tomorrow’s emerging Gabon will be integrated into global economic networks, no longer only through its oil and mineral resources, but also through its enterprises and the influence of its citizens.
A Prosperous SME Sector
The number of SME in Gabon has increased by 22.3% between 2010 and 2011. The IT and commercial sectors have shown the largest increases: 23.5% rise in the number of IT related SMEs and 21.3% in specialty retail and wholesale trade and import. The Government of Gabon is enhancing the bonds between local SMEs and foreign partners. H.E. Mr. Ali Bongo has made it clear that he does not want the economy to rely solely on the oil and mining sectors which accounts for close to 50% of GDP, 60% of the tax revenue and 80% of the exports. Gabon is inviting foreign investors to invest in this prosperous sector.
A country investing for its future
12 billion USD for public investment over the next six years to support economic development:
Delopment of competitive and integrated transport infrastructure
Tarring of over 3,600 km of roads carrying 80% of traffic
Development of main north-south and east-west national roads
Modernisation and expansion of two main ports
Construction of a new deep-water port in southwest Gabon
Construction of river ports
Development of a part of the 3,300km of inland waterways
Improvement of electricity generation capacity to reach 2,000 MW by 2020:
Construction of three hydroelectric dams
Construction of a natural gas fired power plant
High-speed internet connection from 2012 to the underwater ACE fibre-optic cable
A country open to investors
Quality public administration service for investors
The Private Investment Promotion Agency for company registration
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry for business and economic information
The creation of special economic zones offering a number of fiscal benefits to investors:
Nkok Special Economic Zone: 1,100 hectares near the capital, Libreville
Mandji Tax-Free Zone: 1,500 hectares near Gabon’s business capital, Port-Gentil
All in all this fascinating country is one of the continent’s most stable countries. Gabon is an upper-middle income country with per capita income four times the sub-Saharan African average.
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