Chad is Africa’s fifth largest country by geographic/surface area, encompassing three agro-climatic zones. Chad is landlocked, bordering Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, Central African Republic (CAR) to the south, and Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger to the west (with which it shares Lake Chad). The nearest port – Douala, Cameroon – is 1,700 km from the capital, N’Djamena. Chad is one of six countries that constitute the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), a common market. Chad’s human development is one of the lowest in the world according to the UN Human Development Index (HDI), and poverty afflicts a large proportion of the population.
The GOC is favorably disposed to foreign investment, especially from North American companies. There are opportunities for foreign investment in Agribusiness; Agricultural, Construction, Building & Heavy Equipment; Automotive & Ground Transportation; Education; Energy & Mining; Environmental Technologies; Food Processing & Packaging; Health Technologies; Information Technology; Industrial Equipment & Supplies; Information & Communication; and Services.
Since oil production began in 2003, the petroleum sector has dominated economic activity and has been the largest target of foreign investment, including from U.S. companies. Agriculture and livestock breeding are also important economic activities, employing the majority of the population. The Government of Chad (GOC) has prioritized agriculture, livestock breeding, meat processing, energy production, and information technology in recent years in an effort to diversify the economy and lessen fiscal dependence on volatile global energy markets.
Chad’s business and investment climate remains challenging. Private sector development is hindered by poor transport infrastructure, lack of skilled labor, minimal and unreliable electricity supply, weak contract enforcement, corruption, and high tax burdens on private enterprises. Frequent border closures with neighboring countries, exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions, complicate international trade. The COVID-19 pandemic halted Chad’s modest 2019 economic recovery following several years of recession caused by low global oil prices and large debt payments to Glencore. Existing IMF and World Bank programs aim to improve governance, increase transparency, and reduce internal arrears. Private sector financing is limited, and low GDP growth constrains government investment and private sector spending. Frequent rotations of key ministers and overzealous customs inspectors present further roadblocks.
Despite these challenges, the success of several foreign investments into Chad illustrates the business opportunities for experienced, dedicated, and patient investors. Successful investors often operate with trusted local partners to navigate the challenges of operating in Chad. The oil sector will mark 20 years of operations in 2023 and features several prominent American international oil companies. Olam International entered Chad’s cotton market in 2018 and dramatically increased national cotton production. Mindful of the imperative to enact reforms, the GOC launched a Presidential Council to Improve the Business Climate in late 2019. With rich natural resources, minimally developed agriculture and meat processing sectors, ample sunshine, increasing telecommunications coverage, and a rapidly growing population, Chad presents an opportunity for targeted investment in key sectors.
|TI Corruption Perceptions Index||2019||162 of 180||http://www.transparency.org/
|World Bank’s Doing Business Report||2020||182 of 190||http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings|
|Global Innovation Index||2019||N/A||https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/
|U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions)||2018||N/A||https://apps.bea.gov/
|World Bank GNI per capita||2018||USD 670||http://data.worldbank.org/
1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
The GOC’s policies towards foreign direct investment (FDI) are generally positive. Chad’s laws and regulations encourage FDI, and there are few formal restrictions on foreign trade and investment. Under Chadian law, foreign and domestic entities may establish and own business enterprises.
The National Investment Charter of 2008 permits full foreign ownership of companies in Chad. The only limit on foreign control is on ownership of companies deemed related to national security. The National Investment Charter guarantees both foreign companies and individuals equal standing with Chadian companies and individuals in the privatization process. In principle, tenders for foreign investment in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and for government contracts are conducted through open international bid procedures. The National Investment Charter also offers incentives to certain foreign companies establishing significant operations in Chad, including up to five years of tax-exempt status.
Chad’s National Agency for Investment and Exports (ANIE, Agence Nationale des Investissements et des Exports), an agency of the Ministry of Industrial and Commercial Development & Private Sector Promotion, facilitates foreign investment. ANIE’s mandate is to contribute to the creation of a business environment that meets international standing, promote investment and exports, support the development of SMEs, and inform GOC decision makers about economic policy. ANIE acts as a one-stop shop for new investors.
Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
There are no limits on foreign ownership or control. There are no sector-specific restrictions that discriminate against market access for U.S. or other foreign investors, and no de facto anti-foreign discriminatory practices.
Other Investment Policy Reviews
The World Trade Organization (WTO) published a joint trade policy review ( ) for Chad, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Central African Republic in 2013, and a standalone trade policy review ( ) for Chad in 2007.
The OECD has not published any investment policy reviews of Chad.
Foreign businesses interested in investing in or establishing an office in Chad should contact ANIE, which offers a one-stop shop for filing the legal forms needed to start a business. The process officially takes 72 hours and is the most important legal requirement for investment. ANIE’s website ( ) provides additional information. Online business registration is not yet available via the Global Enterprise Registration web site ( ) or the Business Facilitation Program ( ).
In 2019, the World Bank ranked Chad 182 out of 190 countries for ease of starting a business, which included factors beyond registration such as permitting and access to office space, energy, and capital. Article 31 of the 2020 Finance Law requires companies to provide a reimbursable deposit of up to 0.5 percent of expected annual revenue to the GOC to complete registration.
Contracts are tailored to each investment and often include additional incentives and concessions, such as permissions to import labor or agreements to work with specific local suppliers. Some contracts are confidential. Occasionally, government ministries attempt to change the terms of contracts or apply new laws broadly, even to companies that have pre-existing agreements that exempt them. Chad’s judicial system is weak, and rulings, including those relating to contract disputes, are susceptible to government interference. There is limited capacity within the judiciary to address commercial issues, including contract disputes. Parties usually settle disputes directly or through arbitration provided by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture, Mining, and Crafts (CCIAMA) or through an outside entity, such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.
The GOC does not offer any programs or incentives encouraging outward investment. The GOC does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad.
3. Legal Regime
Transparency of the Regulatory System
Chad implements laws to foster competition and establish clear rules based on Uniform Acts produced by the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA, Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires, ). However, certain Chadian and foreign companies may encounter difficulties from well-established companies with a corner on the market that discourages competition.
Regulations and financial policies generally do not impede competition in the financial sector. Legal, regulatory, and accounting systems pertaining to banking are transparent and consistent with international norms. Chad began using OHADA’s accounting system in 2002, bringing its national standards into harmony with accounting systems throughout the region. Several international accounting firms have offices in Chad. However, while accounting, legal, and regulatory procedures are consistent with international norms, some local firms do not use generally accepted standards and procedures in their business practices.
Chad develops forward regulatory plans to encourage foreign investment and budget support. Government ministries draft regulations, subject to approval by the Secretary General of the Government, Council of Ministers, National Assembly, and President. National regulations are most relevant to foreign investors. There are no informal regulatory processes managed by nongovernmental organizations or private sector associations. The GOC occasionally provides opportunities for local associations, such as the National Council of Employers (CNPT, Conseil National du Patronat Tchadien) or the CCIAMA to comment on proposed laws and regulations pertaining to investment. All contracts and practices are subject to legal review, which can be weak.
The Government publishes all budget information, including on the Ministry of Finance and Budget website. Other proposed laws and regulations are not published in draft form for public comment. The Observatory on Public Finance is an online framework for the dissemination of public finance data and the operationalization of the Code of Transparency and Good Governance. This code is an implementation of one of the six CEMAC Directives on the new harmonized framework for public financial management.
The Presidential Council to Improve the Business Climate was announced in 2018 and inaugurated in late 2019. This effort to reform Chad’s investment climate and improve Chad’s performance in World Bank assessments is still in its embryonic stage. The global spread of COVID-19 in early 2020 drew the GOC’s attention to pandemic response.
International Regulatory Considerations
Chad has been a member of the WTO since October 19, 1996 and a member of GATT since July 12, 1963. Chad is a member of OHADA and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC, Communaute Economique et Financiere de l’Afrique Centrale, ). Since 2017, Chad is gradually implementing business and economic laws and regulations based on CEMAC standards and OHADA Uniform Acts. Chad’s banking sector is regulated by COBAC (Commission Bancaire de l’Afrique Centrale), a regional agency.
Legal System and Judicial Independence
Chad’s legal system and commercial law are based on the French Civil Code. The constitution recognizes customary and traditional law if it does not interfere with public order or constitutional rights. Chad’s judicial system rules on commercial disputes in a limited technical capacity. The Chadian President appoints judges without National Assembly confirmation, and thus the judiciary may be subject to executive influence. Courts normally award monetary judgments in local currency, although it may designate awards in foreign currencies based on the circumstances of the disputed transaction.
Chad’s commercial laws are based on standards promulgated by CEMAC, OHADA, and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC, Communaute Economique des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale, ). The Government and National Assembly are in the process of adopting legislation to comply fully with all these provisions.
Specialized commercial tribunal courts were authorized in 1998 and operationalized in 2004. These tribunals exist in five major cities but lack adequate technical capacity to perform their duties. Firms not satisfied with judgments in these tribunals may appeal to OHADA’s regional court in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, that ensures uniformity and consistent legal interpretations across its member countries. Several Chadian companies have done so. OHADA also allows foreign companies to utilize tribunals outside of Chad, generally in Paris, France, to adjudicate business disputes. Finally, CEMAC established a regional court in N’Djamena in 2001 to hear business disputes, but this body is not widely used.
Contracts and investment agreements can stipulate arbitration procedures and jurisdictions for settlement of disputes. If both parties agree and settlements do not violate Chadian law, Chadian courts will respect the decisions of courts in the nations where particular agreements were signed, including the United States. This principle also applies to disputes between foreign companies and the Chadian Government. Such disputes can be arbitrated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Foreign companies frequently choose to include clauses in their contract to mandate ICC arbitration.
Bilateral judicial cooperation is in effect between Chad and certain nations. Chad signed the Antananarivo Convention in 1970, covering the discharge of judicial decisions and serving of legal documents, with eleven other former French colonies (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, CAR, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal). Chad has similar arrangements in place with France, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
The National Investment Charter encourages foreign direct investment. Chad is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC, Communaute Economique et Financiere de l’Afrique Centrale, ) and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA, Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires, ). Since 2017, Chad is gradually implementing business and economic laws and regulations based on CEMAC standards and OHADA Uniform Acts.
Foreign investors using the court system are not generally subject to executive interference. In addition, the OHADA Treaty allows foreign companies to utilize tribunals outside of Chad, e.g., the ICC in Paris, France, to adjudicate any disputes. Companies may also access the OHADA’s court located in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Foreign businesses interested in investing in or establishing an office in Chad should contact ANIE, which offers a one-stop shop for filing the legal forms needed to start a business. The process officially takes 72 hours and is the most important legal requirement for investment. ANIE’s website ( ) provides additional information.
Competition and Anti-Trust Laws
Regulation of competition is covered by the OHADA Uniform Acts that form the basis for Chadian business and economic laws and regulations. The Office of Competition in Chad’s Ministry of Industrial and Commercial Development & Private Sector Promotion reviews transactions for competition-related concerns.
Expropriation and Compensation
Chadian law protects businesses from nationalization and expropriation, except in cases where expropriation is in the public interest. There were no government expropriations of foreign-owned property in 2019. There are no indications that the GOC intends to expropriate foreign property in the near future.
Chad’s Fourth Republic Constitution adopted in May 2018 prohibits seizure of private property except in cases of urgent public need, of which there are no known cases. A 1967 Land Law prohibits deprivation of ownership without due process, stipulating that the state may not take possession of expropriated properties until 15 days after the payment of compensation. The government continues to work on reform of the 1967 law.
ICSID Convention and New York Convention
Chad has been a signatory and contracting state of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (“ICSID Convention”) since 1966.
Chad is not a contracting state of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Arbitration Convention”).
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
Chad is signatory to an investment agreement among the member states of CEMAC, CEAC, and OHADA. The OHADA Investment Arrangement, with provisions for securities, arbitration, dispute settlement, bankruptcy, recovery, and other aspects of commercial regulation, has defined the commercial rights of several economic stakeholders, e.g., the Chadian Treasury, and provides for the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Chad has no Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) or Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with an investment chapter with the United States.
There is no formal record of the government’s handling of investment disputes. Some U.S. and other foreign investors have been involved in disputes with the GOC, particularly over issues regarding taxes and duties, though there are no official statistics. Investment disputes involving foreign investors are frequently arbitrated by an independent body.
International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
In addition to independent courts, such as the ICC, Chad’s constitution recognizes customary and traditional law as long as it does not interfere with public order or constitutional rights. As most businesses operate in the informal sector, customary and traditional law function as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms when parties are from the same tribe or clan and express their desire to settle outside of the formal court.
Specialized commercial tribunal courts were authorized in 1998 and became operational in 2004. These tribunals exist in five major cities but lack adequate capacity to perform their duties. The N’Djamena Commercial Tribunal has heard disputes involving foreign companies.
Foreign investors using the court system are not generally subject to executive interference. In addition, the OHADA Treaty allows foreign companies to utilize tribunals outside of Chad, e.g., the ICC in Paris, France, to adjudicate any disputes. Companies may also access OHADA’s court located in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Chad’s bankruptcy laws are based on OHADA Uniform Acts. According to Section 3, Articles 234 – 239 of OHADA’s Uniform Insolvency Act, creditors and equity shareholders may designate trustees to lodge complaints or claims to the commercial court collectively or individually. These laws criminalize bankruptcy and the OHADA provisions grant Chad the discretion to apply its own sentences.
The World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report ranks Chad’s ease of at 155 of 190. This is a decrease of five positions from 2018. https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/chad/#resolving-insolvency
4. Industrial Policies
The Chadian tax code (CGI, Code General des Impôts) offers incentives to new business start-ups, new activities, or substantial extensions of existing activities. Eligible economic activities are limited to the industrial, mining, agricultural, forestry, and real estate sectors, and may not compete with existing enterprises already operating in a satisfactory manner (Articles 16 and 118 of the National Investment Charter). For 2020, the GOC authorized tax credits for agriculture, animal husbandry, information technology, and renewable energy investments, including solar power projects. Article 14 granted new companies numerous discounts and exemptions.
Foreign investors may ask the GOC for other incentives through investment-specific negotiations. Large companies usually sign separate agreements with the government, which contain negotiated incentives and obligations. The possibility of special tax exemptions exists for some public procurement contracts, and a preferential tax regime applies to contractors and sub-contractors for major oil projects. The government occasionally offers lower license fees in addition to ad hoc tax exemptions. Incentives tend to increase with the size of a given investment, its potential for job creation, and the location of the investment, with rural development being a GOC priority. Investors may address inquiries about possible incentives directly to the Ministry of Industrial and Commercial Development & Private Sector Promotion.
The GOC does not issue guarantees but jointly finances some foreign direct investments.
Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
There are currently no foreign trade zones in Chad. The Chadian Agency for Investment and Exportation (ANIE) is examining the possibility of creating a duty-free zone.
Performance and Data Localization Requirements
Chad does not follow forced localization, the policy in which foreign investors must use domestic content in goods or technology.
Foreign companies are legally required to employ Chadian nationals for 98 percent of their staff. Firms can formally apply for permission from the Labor Promotion Office (ONAPE) to employ more than two percent expatriates if they can demonstrate that skilled local workers are not available. Most foreign firms operating in Chad have obtained these permissions. Foreign workers require work permits in Chad, renewable annually. Companies must present personnel files of local candidates not hired to the GOC for comparison against the profiles of foreign workers. Multinational companies and international non-governmental organizations routinely protest these measures.
There are no requirements for foreign IT providers to turn over source code and/or provide access to surveillance (backdoors into hardware and software or turn over keys for encryption). There are no rules on maintaining a certain amount of data storage within Chad. The GOC has enacted four laws covering cybersecurity and cyber-criminality.
5. Protection of Property Rights
The Chadian Civil Code protects property rights. Since 2013, landowners may register land titles with the One-Stop Land Titling Office (Guichet Unique pour les Affaires Foncieres). However, enforcement of these rights is difficult because a majority of landowners do not have a title or a deed for their property.
The office of Domain and Registration (Direction de Domaine et Enregistrement) in the Ministry of Finance and Budget is responsible for recording property deeds and mortgages. In practice, this office asserts authority only in urban areas; rural property titles are managed by traditional leaders who apply customary law. Chadian courts frequently deal with cases of multiple or conflicting titles to the same property. In cases of multiple titles, the earliest title issued usually has precedence. Fraud is common in property transactions. By law, all land for which no title exists is owned by the government and can only be given to a separate entity by Presidential decree. There have been incidents in which the government has reclaimed land for which individuals held titles, which government officials granted to other individuals without the backing of Presidential decrees.
The GOC does not provide clear definitions and protections of traditional use rights of indigenous peoples, tribes, or farmers.
The World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report ranks Chad 131 of 190 in ease of registering property. The report cites the high cost of property valuation plus other associated costs for registering property as the major impediment. Time required and number of procedures are on par with the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Intellectual Property Rights
Chad is a member of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Chad ratified the revised Bangui Agreement (1999) in 2000 and the Berne Convention in 1971. The GOC adheres to OAPI rules within the constraints of its administrative capacity.
Within the Ministry responsible for trade, the Department of Industrial Property and Technology addresses intellectual property rights (IPR) issues. This department is the National Liaison Unit (SNL) within the OAPI and is the designated point of contact under Article 69 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Counterfeit pharmaceuticals and artistic works, including music and videos, are common in Chad. Counterfeit watches, sports clothing, footwear, jeans, cosmetics, perfumes, and other goods are also readily available on the Chadian market. These products are not produced locally and are generally imported through informal channels. Despite limited resources, Chadian customs officials make occasional efforts to enforce copyright laws, normally by seizing and burning counterfeit medicines, CDs, and mobile phones.
Chad does not regularly track and report on seizures of counterfeit goods. Chadian authorities will occasionally announce such a seizure in the local press. Customs officers have the authority to seize and destroy counterfeit goods ex officio. The Government pays for storage and destruction of such goods.
Chad is not listed on the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 Report or the Notorious Markets List. For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at .
6. Financial Sector
Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
Chad’s financial system is underdeveloped. There are no capital markets or money markets in Chad. A limited number of financial instruments are available to the private sector, including letters of credit, short- and medium-term loans, foreign exchange services, and long-term savings instruments.
Commercial banks offer credit on market terms, often at rates of 12 to 25 percent for short-term loans. Access to credit is available but is prohibitively expensive for most Chadians in the private sector. Medium-term loans are difficult to obtain, as lending criteria are rigid. Most large businesses maintain accounts with foreign banks and borrow money outside of Chad. There are ATMs in some major hotels, N’Djamena airport, and in most neighborhoods of N’Djamena, and in major cities.
Chad does not have a stock market and has no effective regulatory system to encourage or facilitate portfolio investments. A small regional stock exchange, known as the Central African Stock Exchange, in Libreville, Gabon, was established by CEMAC countries in 2006. Cameroon, a CEMAC member, launched its own market in 2005. Both exchanges are poorly capitalized.
Money and Banking System
Chad’s banking sector is small and continues to streamline lending practices and reduce the volume of bad debt. The Chadian banking rate is even lower than the average rate in the CEMAC sub-region estimated at 12 percent, due to the lack of means to afford a bank account and the lack of culture aimed at popularizing the banking system. Chad’s four largest banks have been privatized. The former Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique au Tchad (BIAT) became a part of Togo-based Ecobank; the former Banque Tchadienne de Credit et de Depôt was re-organized as the Societe Generale Tchad; the former Financial Bank became part of Togo-based Orabank; and the former Banque de Developpement du Tchad (BDT) was reorganized as Commercial Bank Tchad (CBT), in partnership with Cameroon-based Commercial Bank of Cameroon. There are two Libyan banks in Chad, BCC (formerly Banque Libyenne) and Banque Sahelo-Saharienne pour l’Investissement et le Commerce (BSCIC), along with one Nigerian bank (UBA, United Bank for Africa). In 2018, the GOC funded a new bank Banque de l’Habitat du Tchad (BHT) with the GOC as majority shareholder with 50 percent of the shares and two public companies, the National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS) and the Chadian Petroleum Company (SHT), each holding 25 percent.
Chad, as a CEMAC member, shares a central bank with Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon – the Central African Economic Bank (BEAC, Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale), headquartered in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Foreigners must establish legal residency in order to establish a bank account.
Foreign Exchange and Remittances
The government does not restrict converting funds associated with an investment (including remittances of investment capital, earnings, loan repayments, lease payments, royalties) into a freely usable currency at legal market-clearing rates. There are currently no restrictions on repatriating these funds, although there are some limits associated with transferring funds. BEAC proposals for currency export restrictions to improve current account balances and reduce corruption opportunities remain under discussion, with foreign investors requiring large capital expenditures requesting exemptions from new regulations. Individuals transferring funds exceeding 1,000 USD must document the source and purpose of the transfer with the local sending bank. Transactions of 10,000 USD or more for individuals and 50,000 USD or more for companies are automatically notified to the COBAC. Companies and individuals transferring more than 800,000 USD out of Chad need BEAC authorization to do so. Authorization may take up to three working days. To request authorization for a transfer, companies and individuals must submit contact information for the sender and recipient, a delivery timetable, and proof of the sender’s identity. Approvals are routine, although the Central Bank has occasionally temporarily restricted capital outflows. There were no reports of other capital outflow restrictions in 2019. Businesses can obtain advance approval for regular money transfers.
Chad is a member of the African Financial Community (CFA) and uses the Central African CFA Franc (FCFA) as its currency. The FCFA is pegged to the Euro at a fixed rate of one Euro to 655.957 FCFA exactly (100 FCFA = 0.152449 Euro). In 2019, the CFA/USD exchange rate fluctuated between 571 and 602 FCFA as a function of the performance of the USD against the Euro. There are no restrictions on obtaining foreign exchange.
There are no recent changes to or plans to change investment remittance policies. There are no time limitations on remittances, dividends, returns on investment, interest, and principal on private foreign debt, lease payments, royalties, or management fees.
Chad does not engage in currency manipulation.
Chad is a member state of the Action Group against Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), which is in the process of becoming a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. On the national level, the National Financial Investigation Agency (ANIF) has implemented GABAC recommendations to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
Sovereign Wealth Funds
The GOC does not currently maintain a Sovereign Wealth Fund.
7. State-Owned Enterprises
All Chadian SOEs operate under the umbrella of government ministries. SOE senior management reports to the minister responsible for the relevant sector, as well as a board of directors and an executive board. The President of the Republic appoints SOE boards of directors, executive boards, and CEOs. The boards of directors give general directives over the year, while the executive boards manage general guidelines set by the boards of directors. Some executive directors consult with their respective ministries before making business decisions.
The GOC operates SOEs in a number of sectors, including Energy and Mining; Agriculture, Construction, Building and Heavy Equipment, Information and Communication, in water supply and cement production. The percentage SOEs allocate to research and development (R&D) is unknown.
There were no reports of discriminatory action taken by SOEs against the interests of foreign investors in 2019, and some foreign companies operated in direct competition with SOEs. Chad’s Public Tender Code (PTC) provides preferential treatment for domestic competitors, including SOEs.
SOEs are not subject to the same tax burden and tax rebate policies as their private sector competitors and are often afforded material advantages such as preferential access to land and raw materials. SOEs receive government subsidies under the national budget; however, in practice they do not respect the budget. State and company funds are often commingled.
Chad is not a party to the Agreement on Government Procurement within the framework of the WTO. Chadian practices are not consistent with the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance for SOEs.
Foreign investors are permitted and encouraged to participate in the privatization process. There is a public, non-discriminatory bidding process. Having a local contact in Chad to assist with the bidding process is important. To combat corruption, the GOC has recently hired private international companies to oversee the bidding process for government tenders. Despite the GOC’s willingness to privatize loss-making SOEs, there remain several obstacles to privatization.
The Chamber of Commerce submitted a ‘white paper’ (livre blanc) in 2018 with recommendations for the GOC to facilitate and simplify private sector operations, including establishing a Business Observatory and a Presidential Council, which would implement the over 70 recommendations to improve the investment climate in Chad. The Presidential Council was inaugurated in late 2019.
Chad is considering privatization in the following sectors:
- Information & Communication (SOTEL Tchad)
- Food Processing & Packaging (the Société Tchadienne de Jus de Fruit (STJF), which produces fruit juice in Doba; and the Société Moderne de Abattoires (SMA), a slaughterhouse and meat packaging company in Farcha)
8. Responsible Business Conduct
There is a general awareness of Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) among firms in Chad. Most Western firms operating in Chad engage in RBC, particularly those in the petroleum and telecommunications sectors. For example, Esso Exploration and Production Chad, Inc. (EEPCI), the main oil producer, has implemented Environmental Management Plans (EMP), a rigorous program that espouses, inter alia, prioritizing hiring local residents and local purchase of goods and services, establishing international safety standards, and protecting biodiversity. A critical part of EMP has been the Land Use Management Action Plan (LUMAP) that compensates individuals and communities for land used by the project. To date, LUMAP has distributed approximately USD1.7 million in cash, in-kind goods, and training. EMP’s efforts are complemented by the ExxonMobil Foundation, which supports projects to improve girls’ education and fight malaria.
Many foreign firms commit to extensive local staff training efforts, purchase local goods, and donate excess equipment to charities or local governments. Internet companies Airtel and Tigo, as well as some banks, continue to engage in RBC focused on public awareness campaigns countering violent extremism and promoting social cohesion.
While work safety and environmental protection regulations exist, the government does not always enforce them, and companies do not always adhere to them. There are a number of local NGOs, particularly in the southern oil-producing regions, which monitor safety and environmental protection in the oil sector, and which have held government and private companies publicly accountable. EEPCI adheres to U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for recording accidents and injuries and implements a rigorous program of safety procedures and protocols.
Foreign investors should also be aware that corruption remains common in Chad. Corruption in Chad remains a significant deterrent to U.S. investment. Corruption is most pervasive in government procurement, award of licenses or concessions, dispute settlement, regulation enforcement, customs, and taxation.
Chad is not a signatory country of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Chad is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (“the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention”).
There is an independent Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes), equivalent to a supreme audit institution (SAI), to enhance independent oversight of government decisions, although its members are nominated by presidential decree. Concurrently, the GOC created a General Inspectorate for State Control within the Presidency to oversee government accountability. No reports have been published, however. In addition to these bodies, the National Assembly’s Finance Committee carries out verifications of the GOC’s annual financial statement. No audits have been made publicly available during the reporting period.
A February 2000 anti-corruption law stipulates penalties for corrupt practices. The law does not single out family members and political parties. As in other developing countries, low salaries for most civil servants, judicial employees and law enforcement officials, coupled with a weak state system and a culture of rent seeking, have contributed to corruption.
The Ministry of Finance and Budget set up a toll-free number (700) to fight corruption and embezzlement. According to the Minister of Finance and Budget, the toll-free number 700 allows each economic operator or any other individual to alert the Inspectorate General of Finance to denounce any unscrupulous agent who seeks to be corrupted in the context of the issue of administrative paper or the payment of a tax. There are no specific laws to counter conflict of interest. The GOC does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that, among other things, prohibit bribery of public officials.
A prominent local NGO, the Center for Studies and Research on Governance, Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development (CERGIED), formerly GRAMP-TC (Groupe Alternatif de Recherche et de Monitoring de Petrole – Tchad), tracks government expenditures of oil revenue. There are no indications that anti-corruption laws are enforced differently on foreign investors than on Chadian citizens. There is no specific protection for NGOs involved in investigating corruption.
Corruption is an obstacle to FDI. It is most pervasive in government procurement, award of licenses or concessions, transfers, performance requirements, dispute settlement, regulatory system and customs or taxation.
Resources to Report Corruption
Government agency contact responsible for combating corruption:
Inspection Generale d’Etat
Ministry of Finance and Budget toll free number 700 (inside Chad)
Presidence de la Republique
+235 22 51 51 39 / 22 51 44 37
Contact at watchdog organizations:
10. Political and Security Environment
Chad has enjoyed political stability since 2008. There have been no reported incidents in recent years involving politically motivated damage to projects and/or installations, including during the 2008 disturbances. President Deby is completing his fifth elected presidential term and is eligible to participate in the next presidential elections, scheduled for April 2021. Socio-economic conditions occasionally spark demonstrations and protests against the Government. In many cases, the Government either denied permits for demonstrations or suppressed them using tear gas, arresting participants and organizers. Extended periods of reduced oil revenues add to socioeconomic stress. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic strains Chad’s limited medical infrastructure and disrupts trade routes with neighboring countries and international air travel.
Regional violent extremist organizations threaten Chadian and Western interests. Boko Haram’s violence has choked off vital trade routes with Nigeria and the road between N’Djamena and Douala, Cameroon, the principal port serving Chad. This has increased costs for imports and decreased exports due to border closures. Violent extremist organizations may threaten foreign investments along the Lake Chad Basin.
For up-to-date information on political and security conditions in Chad, please refer to the Consular Affairs Bureau’s Travel Warning and Country Specific Information at http://www.travel.state.gov. The Embassy encourages all U.S. Citizens visiting Chad to register with the Embassy upon arrival or online via the STEP program.
U.S. businesses and organizations in Chad are welcome to inquire at the Embassy about joining the Overseas Security Advisory Committee (OSAC).
11. Labor Policies and Practices
Chad has a shortage of skilled labor in most sectors. Although there is an increasing pool of university graduates able to fill entry-level management and administrative positions, skilled workers still represent a very small percentage of the total labor pool. Eighty percent of the Chadian labor force is estimated to work in the informal sector, with many engaged in subsistence activities including farming, herding, and fishing. Unskilled and day laborers are readily available. Few Chadians speak English. Acceptable translators and interpreters are available. Some government ministries and SOEs provide job-related training to their employees.
Chad’s population demonstrates a significant youth bulge, leading to widespread youth unemployment. Laborers are motivated but frequently undereducated. According to UNESCO, Chad’s literacy rate is 22 percent.
Chad has ratified all eight Fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization. International labor rights such as freedom of association, the elimination of forced labor, child labor, employment discrimination, minimum wage, occupational safety and health, and weekly work hours are recognized within the labor code. However, gaps remain in law and practice. Chadian labor law derives from French law and tends to provide strong protection for Chadian workers; priority is given to Chadian nationals. Labor unions operate independently from the government and, in fact, often challenge the government. The two main labor federations, the Confederation Libre des Travailleurs du Tchad (CLTT) and the Union des Syndicats Tchadiens (UST), to which most individual unions belong, are the most influential.
The labor court is the labor dispute mechanism in Chad. In case of a dispute, the aggrieved party contacts a labor inspector directly or through the labor union to settle the dispute or lodge a complaint with the labor court.
Labor unions practice collective bargaining, and the labor code monitors labor abuses, health, and safety standards in low-wage assembly operations. The enforcement of the code is not effectively conducted; most disputes are based on contract termination. Child labor remains a problem. Children were involved in the following sectors: street begging in urban centers, street work as hawkers and porters, carpentry, vehicle garages, gold mining in the north of the country, service industries such as waiters/waitresses, and as domestic workers. Child labor is common in the agriculture sector. Children are also involved in cattle-herding and charcoal production. In some regions, children are involved in catching, smoking, and selling fish. Chadian cattle are included on the U.S. Government’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.
The GOC may provide incentives for foreign businesses but does not waive laws to attract or retain investment, as the Chadian labor law strongly supports workers.
12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Other Investment Insurance Programs
Chad is eligible for DFC programs and services. There is one active DFC project in Chad – Finlux ELLEN Sarl – for the distribution and maintenance of solar home kits and appliances for off-grid electrification. This project received USD 10,000,000 in financing. The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has also provided political risk investment insurance to U.S. companies in Chad.
Chad is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The French investment guarantee agency Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Exterieur (COFACE) has also guaranteed a number of investments in Chad.
13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics
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14. Contact for More Information
Economic and Commercial Officer
U.S. Embassy N’Djamena,
Rondpoint Chagoua BP 413
N’Djamena Chad. +235 2251-5017 Ext 24408
+235 2251-5017 Ext 24408