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Côte d’Ivoire offers exciting new opportunities for U.S. investment. It boasts one of the fastest sustained economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa owing to nearly a decade of real GDP growth averaging 8.2 percent (between 2012 and 2019) that proved resilient during the worst of the pandemic (registering 2 percent growth in 2020 and 7 percent in 2021). Despite global external economic shocks, growth is projected to continue at 5.5 percent in 2022 and 6.2 percent in 2023. As the economic engine of Francophone West Africa, Côte d’Ivoire accounts for more than 39 percent of the total West African Monetary Union (WAEMU). The Euro-pegged CFA franc has mitigated some of the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine like spikes in inflation. Thus far, inflation has remained relatively stable ranging from 4.7 to 5 percent in 2022.

Côte d’Ivoire provides vital supply lines to the Sahel and wider Francophone West African region. Visits by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves and World Bank nominee Ajay Banga reflect its regional importance and strong bilateral relationship with the United States. Ivoirian authorities continue to prioritize structural reforms to improve the business environment, modernize public administration, increase human capital, and boost productivity and private sector development.

With almost 70 percent of the target population vaccinated for COVID-19 and an economy that remained resilient throughout the pandemic, Côte d’Ivoire stands as an example of astute policymaking. The government’s National Development Plan and Strategy 2030 seeks to digitize the government for a more transparent and inclusive economy. It directs the government to implement policies in support of transforming the economy away from a commodity export focus to increase value-added processing contributions to GDP and job creation. Together, these efforts and its significant manufacturing base, second only to Nigeria in the region, offer opportunities for U.S. technology, ingenuity, and services.

In February, Fitch Ratings credit agency reaffirmed the country’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at BB- with a stable outlook and thereby, confirmed Côte d’Ivoire’s strong growth prospects against low development indicators and high commodity dependence. The IMF highlighted Côte d’Ivoire’s measures to strengthen macroeconomic stability and reverse widening fiscal and external imbalances in April as part of a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new 40-month arrangement of approximately $3.5 billion under the Extended Fund Facility/Extended Credit Facility.

The discovery of gas and petroleum reserves and current negotiations for a regional energy compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) reinforces Côte d’Ivoire’s role as a regional energy hub. The country’s investment in public-private partnerships in the energy sector reflects this growth from $5.5 million in 2011 to more than $810 million in 2020. The country remains a primary regional electricity supplier to neighboring countries, such as Mali and Burkina Faso. A potential MCC regional compact with Côte d’Ivoire aims to improve regional energy infrastructure and distribute energy across West Africa in a more cost-effective way. Côte d’Ivoire still maintains several unexplored blocks, or blocks under exploration, and aims to attract more industrial players. Côte d’Ivoire often offers take-or-pay contracts as guarantees solely in the gas industry. In line with its COP26 commitments, Côte d’Ivoire seeks to invest further in new renewable energy production, targeting 45 percent in renewable energy by 2030, such as solar and biomass.

U.S. businesses operate successfully in several Ivoirian sectors, including oil and gas exploration and production; agriculture and value-added agribusiness processing; power generation and renewable energy; IT services; the digital economy; banking; insurance; and infrastructure. Abidjan hosts one of the region’s busiest ports with San Pedro port rising in importance and connectivity. The competitiveness of U.S. companies in information technology and cybersecurity services is exemplified by offering innovative solutions using the latest technologies and promoting values of transparency and rule of law. American firms continued to urge the Ivoirian government to tangibly improve doing business indicators, including systemic administrative delays associated with highly bureaucratic decision-making, to attract more foreign direct investment. Company representatives comment on investment climate challenges citing point-of-entry challenges obtaining financing and necessary government approvals to operate in Côte d’Ivoire. An overly complicated tax system and slow, opaque government decision-making processes also hinder investment. In June 2022, the government announced an investment-focused Anglophone Desk, a one-stop shop bridging the language gap for foreign investors to facilitate Anglophone investment and diversify foreign investment partners; the proposed Desk is a valuable commitment but not yet operational.

Côte d’Ivoire is successfully implementing its part of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, a sub-regional agreement between Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire aiming to facilitate the free flow of goods and people and promote regional integration in Coastal West Africa. It is a member of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), one of the first countries in the region to ratify the agreement. These frameworks will facilitate trade within the region and continent, widening opportunities for international business. This year, the government extended the new industrial zone Akoupé-Zeudji, reinforcing accessibility and availability to industrial lands for potential investors. The government is close to finishing a highway connecting the two major ports: Port of Abidjan and Port of San Pedro. In August 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard removed Côte d’Ivoire from its Port Security Advisory list, noting the country is maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures in its ports. This reflects growing importance of Côte d’Ivoire as a maritime security partner and location for more regional cargo and logistics hub activities.

The government is committed to strengthening security systems in the northern areas of the country to prevent growing political instability in northern and western neighbors, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea, from dampening investor confidence or increasing insecurity in the country. The U.S. government is supporting these efforts through the Coastal West Africa Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability. Increased investment in this important region offers opportunities for U.S. companies.

Côte d’Ivoire possesses a strong, youthful workforce with more than 70 percent of its population under 35. The government has put in place incentives and programs to increase youth employment. One potential area for growth is the information technology sector. Internet and telephone users in both urban and rural areas have considerably increased, with more cell phones than people, facilitating communication within the country. Côte d’ivoire designed a national strategy for digital development, estimated at $ 3 Billion, aiming to develop digital infrastructures and services.

The government has begun to streamline operating procedures in some sectors, such as procurement, taxation, and regulation. The government has identified VAT (Value Added Tax), mining, digitalization, and property taxes as key areas for broadening the tax base and improving state revenues; however, challenges remain. New public procurement procedures adopted in 2019 were implemented in 2021, including implementation of an e-procurement module, and improved evaluation, prioritization, selection, and monitoring procedures. This is a work in process, and investors have expressed concerns that these procedures are not consistently or transparently applied. Similar concerns circulate about tax procedures, especially retroactive assessments based on changes in tax formulas. Other challenges include low levels of literacy, skills development, and income; weak access to credit for small businesses; corruption; and immediate need to broaden the tax base to relieve some of the tax-paying burden on businesses.

The government has put in place SPACIA, an online platform to report corruption. Strategic audits also led to the arrest of several allegedly corrupt officials. Transparency International revealed in 2023 that Côte d’Ivoire improved its corruption perception index, moving six places above last year’s ranking and breaking into the top 100. Senior government officials emphasized their political will to fight corruption scourge, which continues to hinder Côte d’Ivoire’s economy.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings




Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions Index


99 of 180

World Bank’s Doing Business Report


110 of 190

Global Innovation Index


109 of 131

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions)



World Bank GNI per capita



Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

The government actively encourages FDI and is committed to increasing it. The preparation of the 2021-2025 National Development Plan (Plan National de Développement or PND) was formulated after a comprehensive review of the main achievements, remaining challenges, and additional strategic priorities from the previous 2016-2020 PND. The 2021-2025 PND process was a collaborative effort, including consultations with civil society, the private sector, local government, and development finance institutions (DFIs). The government recognizes it cannot achieve its ambitious PND investment goals without increasing private investment, and the country is seeking 72 percent of overall investment through the private sector. The World Bank Group’s 2023-2027 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Côte d’Ivoire prioritizes value chains in agribusiness and agroindustry, which will have the greatest impact on poverty reduction. It aims to reduce disparities in human development, infrastructure access, and economic opportunities. In doing so, the CPF will contribute to strengthening the social contract between the state and citizens and to preventing fragility and insecurity. Part of Côte d’Ivoire’s 2030 vision is to process domestically at least 50 percent of its raw export commodities, and Côte d’Ivoire’s strategic vision is to attract more FDI to enable this work. The latest report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed that FDI doubled in Côte d’Ivoire, increasing from $578 million to $1,300 million in 2021.

Foreign companies are free to invest and list on the Regional Stock Exchange (BVRM – Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières), which is based in Abidjan and covers the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). WAEMU members are part of the Regional Council for Savings and Investment (CREPMF – Conseil Régional de l’Épargne Publique et des Marchés Financiers), a West African securities regulatory body. BRVM has only 46 companies, 34 of which are Ivoirian. Looking ahead, the market is slowly going digital, with online trading platforms. Licensed stock broking companies already execute most investors’ trades through an automated trading system.

On March 15,2022, the BVRM and the International Finance Corporation adopted a new governance code. The code enhances investor access to reliable and comprehensible information, ensures tight collaboration between the companies’ administrative board and management, and tightens requirements for firms’ audits. Companies, however, are reluctant to list, and investors do not yet see the market as an alternative way to make a profit. There is a need to expand and deepen markets to support international trade, including forward and futures markets. New financial instruments emerged on the markets, such as green bonds, diaspora bonds, and sukuk (or sharia-compliant bonds), enabling local currency borrowing.

In most sectors, there are no laws that limit foreign investment. There are restrictions, however, on foreign investment in the health sector, law and accounting firms, and travel agencies (see below section).

The government’s investment promotion agency, the Center for the Promotion of Investment in Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI), promotes and attracts national and foreign investment. Its services are available to all investors and are provided through a one-stop shop intended to facilitate business creation, operation, and expansion. CEPICI ensures that investors receive incentives outlined in the investment code and facilitates access to industrial land. More information is available at . In 2019, the government added a Ministry of Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development Office, charged with investment promotion activities and development of industrial zones, including economic and free zones. The Ministry oversees the CEPICI and the Ivoirian Enterprise Institute (INIE – Institut Ivoirien de enterprise), charged with programs targeting Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development. This overlaps with the mandate of the Ministry for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprise (Ministère de la Promotion des PME, de l’artisanat et de la Transformation du Secteur informel).

Côte d’Ivoire maintains an ongoing dialogue with investors through various business networks and platforms, such as the CEPICI, the Ivoirian Chamber of Commerce (CCI-CI), the association of large enterprises (CGECI), and the bankers’ association. CGECI regularly proposes reforms for the government to adopt on private sector financing and investment. CGECI also hosts workshops and conferences to discuss issues ranging from tax to access to debt issues.

In 2023, the government adopted a bill promoting digital startups. The bill offers an incentive system consisting of lower tax and customs duties as well as other administrative measures. The IMF and Côte d’Ivoire reached an agreement on an economic reform program in April focusing on revenue mobilization. Government intensified tax collection for companies operating in the mobile money and agriculture industries.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Foreign investors have access to all forms of remunerative activity on terms equal to those enjoyed by Ivoirians. The government encourages FDI, including investor participation in state-owned firms that the government is privatizing. Although in most privatizations, the state reserves an equity stake in the new company.

There are no general, economy-wide limits on foreign ownership or control, and few sector-specific restrictions. There are no laws specifically directing private firms to adopt articles of incorporation or association that limit or prohibit foreign investment, participation, or control in those firms, and no such practices have been reported. Non-citizens and foreign entities can buy stocks listed on the regional stock exchange located in Abidjan.

Banks and insurance companies are subject to licensing requirements, but there are no restrictions designed to limit foreign ownership or to limit establishment of subsidiaries of foreign companies in this sector. Investments in health, law and accounting, and travel agencies are subject to prior approval and require appropriate licenses and association with an Ivoirian partner. The government has, on a case-by-case basis, mandated using local providers, hiring local employees, or arranging for eventual transfer to local control. The government has implemented local content requirement for companies in the oil and gas sectors. Local content includes an obligation to employ local employees and to work with local SMEs.

The government does not have an official policy to screen investments; its overall economic and industrial strategy does not discriminate against foreign-owned firms. There are indications of some instances of preferential treatment for firms from countries with longstanding commercial ties to Côte d’Ivoire. In some sectors, such as cocoa and cashew processing, the government gives preferential treatment to Ivoirian companies. For instance, 20 percent of the national cocoa production is exclusively granted to Ivoirian cocoa exporting companies.

The government enforce that companies dealing with industrial activities operate in specific industrial zones.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

Côte d’Ivoire has not conducted an investment policy review (IPR) through the OECD. The WTO last conducted a Trade Policy Review in October 2017, which can be found at .

UNCTAD published an Investment Policy Review for Côte d’Ivoire in February 2020, which can be found at 

The government provides information about sector policies and business opportunities in publicly available reports. More information can be found at: . The National Development Plan 2021-2025 outlines the key sectors and priorities of the government regarding investment:

The government has revised the national strategy for the development of rice (SNDR 2), a decade-long strategy covering 2020-2030, with a goal to fill the production insufficiency gap by 2025 and attract more investors in the sector: . In 2022, the consumption of rice increased from 1.3 million to 2.6 million per year.

Côte d’Ivoire boosted its investment attractiveness by fostering large industrial parks. In December 2022, the government inaugurated 361 hectares of industrial lands in the suburbs of the economic capital Abidjan, called Akoupé- Zeudji.

Business Facilitation

The CEPICI manages Côte d’Ivoire’s online information portal containing all documents dedicated to business creation and registration ( ). All the necessary documentation for registration is available online, however actual registration must be done in person. Further information on business registration is also available on CEPICI’s website ( ).

Businesses can register at the CEPICI’s One-Stop Shop (Guichet Unique) in Abidjan. The One-Stop Shop allows businesses to register with the commercial registrar (Registre du Commerce et du Crédit Immobilier), the tax authority (Direction Générale d’Impôts), and the social security institute (Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale). The One-Stop Shop also publishes the legal notice of incorporation on CEPICI’s website. All necessary documents for registration are also available on the website. Registration takes between one and three days, while preparation of necessary documents can take more time. The business licensing process, controlled by sector-specific governing bodies, is separate from the registration process.

Women have equal access to the registration process. There have not been any reports of gender-based discrimination.

International financial institutions recommend government authorities better and more transparently address concerns from the private sector in the following general areas:

1) enhancing the regulatory framework, reducing bureaucratic red tape, and improving the provision of public sector services, for example by simplifying and harmonizing the process for issuing business licenses and approvals.

2) promoting digitalization, both in the provision of public services and in public finance management.

3) reducing labor market rigidities by broadening professional training programs.

4) safeguarding property rights, particularly with respect to ownership and transfer of land.

5) deepening financial inclusion and facilitating access to financial markets, also via mobile systems and digital platforms; and

6) reducing uncertainty in the timing of government payments.

Government authorities are stepping up efforts to strengthen macroeconomic statistics. The National Strategy for the development of statistics aims to broaden the competencies of the National Institute of Statistics, reinforce its independence, and create a national fund for the development of statistics.

The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor will facilitate transportation along this Corridor which carries over 75% of the trade volume in West Africa so as to sustain the free flow of persons, trade and improve the respective economies of the Corridor states. The project is currently ongoing with the projected headquarters office to open in Abidjan soon.

Outward Investment

Côte d’Ivoire does not promote or incentivize outward investment. However, the government does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad.

There is no Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Côte d’Ivoire and the United States. Côte d’Ivoire has signed bilateral investment treaties with the following countries and multilateral organizations: Belgium, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), Germany, Ghana, Italy, Luxembourg, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The Ivoirian government ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU in September 2016, allowing it to access the European market with no tax. The EPA went into effect in December 2019. Côte d’Ivoire also joined the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), allowing the country to trade within the continent with no tax on certain products. The trade activities started in January 2021.

Côte d’Ivoire does not have a bilateral taxation treaty with the United States, though it has tax treaties with Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. For leasing, the depreciation period of the item for accounting purposes is aligned with the period of the contract and not the lifespan of the item. The government has made a special tax incentive available to foreign investors to be able to import equipment needed for a project.

Ivoirian businesses and foreign investors have expressed some concerns about the level of taxation. Starting in 2021, some U.S. and European companies complained that Ivoirian tax authorities used aggressive methods and exorbitant assessments of taxes due. The government’s collection of revenues as a percentage of GDP is significantly below that of other countries at comparable levels of development, and the government recognizes the need to boost domestic resource mobilization. It has focused this effort in the near term on large, successful companies, eliciting a negative reaction. For the medium-term, the government recognizes the need to broaden the tax base and strengthen tax administration while continuing to create more space for the private sector.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

The government aims for transparency in law and policy to foster competition and provide clear rules of the game and a level playing field for domestic and foreign investors. However, at the operational level, lack of regulatory transparency is a concern. Publication of draft legislation and regulations is not required. Foreign and Ivoirian companies complain that new regulations are issued with little warning and without a period for public comment. For instance, new duties and taxes on products are generally reported in the fiscal annexes towards the end of the year and take immediate effect at the beginning of the next year. The Ministry of Commerce supports introducing a period for public comment on new regulations and changes in regulation before they are implemented. The government does often hold ad hoc public seminars and workshops to discuss proposed plans with trade and industry associations. Further work in this area would boost investor confidence.

Regulatory actions, once adopted, are published on the government website. They are also published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Journal Officiel de la République de Côte d’Ivoire) , which is available for purchase at newsstands and by subscription on the Journal’s website  and at .

The National Regulatory Authority for Public Procurement (ANRMP – Autorité Nationale de Régulation des Marchés Publics) polices transparency in public procurement and private sector compliance with public procurement rules. Consumers, trade associations, private companies, and individuals have the right to file complaints with ANRMP to hold the government to its own administrative processes. In February, the ANRMP published on its official website the management review of all 2020 public procurements.

Regulatory bodies regularly publish and promote access to their data for the business community and development partners, allowing for scientific and data-driven reviews and assessments. Quantitative analysis and public comments are made available.

Regulatory authority and decision-making exist only at the national level. Sub-national jurisdictions do not regulate business. For most industries or sectors, regulations are developed through the ministry responsible for that sector. In the telecommunications, electricity, cocoa, coffee, cotton, and cashew sectors, the government has established control boards or independent agencies to regulate the sector and pricing. Companies have complained that rules for buying prices determined by the agriculture commodity regulatory agencies tend to be opaque and local prices are set arbitrarily without reference to world prices.

Côte d’Ivoire’s agency regulating cocoa and coffee (CCC – Conseil du Café et Cacao) has identified the need for a single mechanism to control traceability to prevent child labor and deforestation. This year CCC started the distribution of cards to cocoa farmers for digital traceability, land usage, and digital payment. The private sector and non-governmental stakeholders agree on the need for increased accountability and traceability, but generally prefer a multi-prong approach that incorporates the non-governmental work already being done in this area. Growing international awareness of child labor and environmental challenges in Côte d’Ivoire, and the possibility that this could impact exports, are catalysts for action. In January 2023, the EU launched its deforestation bill, threatening to ban five commodities: coffee, cocoa, palm oil, hardwoods, soy, and all their derivatives products, if the production result from deforestation, forced and child labor. The bill will take effect in June 2023. Companies will be required to provide notification of “reasonable diligence” showing the origin of production, and that the product was not produced by child or forced labor.

The government publishes tender notices in the local press and sometimes in international magazines and newspapers. On occasion, there is a charge for bidding documents. Côte d’Ivoire as a generally decentralized government procurement system, with most ministries undertaking their own procurements. The National Bureau of Technical and Development Studies, the government’s technical and investment planning agency and think tank, occasionally serves as an executing agency in major projects to be financed by international institutions.

The Public Procurement Department is a centralized office of public tenders in the Ministry of Finance tasked with ensuring compliance with international bidding practices. Côte d’Ivoire’s update to its public procurement code in 2019 introduced electronic procurement bidding, provisions for sustainable public procurement, and promotion of socially responsible vendors. While the public procurement process is open by law, in practice it is often opaque, and government contracts are occasionally awarded outside of public tenders. During negotiations on a tender, the Ivoirian government at times imposes local content requirements on foreign companies. There are specific regulations governing the government’s use of sole source procurements, and the government has awarded sole source bids without tenders, citing the high technical capacity of a firm or a declared emergency. Many firms continue to cite corruption as an obstacle to transparent procurement decisions.

The National Authority for Regulation of Public Procurement (ANRMP) regulates public procurement with a view to improving governance and transparency. It has the authority to audit and sanction private-sector entities that do not comply with public-procurement regulations, and to provide recommendations to ministries to address irregularities.

Côte d’Ivoire’s accounting, legal, and regulatory procedures are consistent with international norms, though both foreign and Ivoirian businesses often complain about the government’s poor communication. Côte d’Ivoire is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of African Business Law (OHADA), which is common to 16 countries and adheres to the WAEMU accounting system. In accounting, companies use the WAEMU system, which complies with international norms and is a source of economic and financial data.

Banking regulation follows the Central Bank (BCEAO) monetary policy covering the eight countries of WAEMU: Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Guinea, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau. Ivoirian authorities have limited power to conduct monetary policy. The Central Bank regulates interest rates to control the money supply. IMF assessments confirm Côte d’Ivoire’s creditworthiness; and welcomes the very constructive engagement with the authorities and strongly supports their deep commitment to fiscal and debt sustainability and to building a more prosperous and inclusive society amid rapid demographic change and significant external challenges. The Ivoirian government promotes transparency of public finances and debt obligations (including explicit and contingent liabilities) with the publication of this information through the following websites: 

International Regulatory Considerations

The government incorporates WAEMU directives into its public procurement bidding policy, processes, and auditing. This includes separating auditing and regulatory functions and increasing advance payment for the initial procurement of goods and services from 25 to 30 percent.

Côte d’Ivoire is part of the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), whose mandate is to protect economies, reinforce cooperation among member states, harmonize measures, and evaluate current strategies against money laundering and terrorism financing. The government is close to adopt a national strategy to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Once adopted, this strategy will put in place regulations and institutions that protect the Ivoirian financial system against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. CDI’s National Financial Information Processing Unit (CENTIF – Cellule nationale de Traitement des Informations financières) analyzes, processes, exploits, and circulates information from atypical financial transactions transmitted by professions subject to the law, in the form of “suspicious transaction reports.” These professions include real estate, representing 0.93 percent on a scale from 0 to 1.

Ivoirian laws, codes, professional-association standards, and regional-body membership obligations are incorporated in the country’s regulatory system. The private sector often follows European norms to take advantage of the Ivoirian trade agreement with the EU – CDI’s largest market.

CDI has been a WTO member since 1995 but has not notified all the draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade. The government signed the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in December 2013 and ratified it in December 2015. The National TFA Committee (NTFC) coordinates TFA implementation. Consistent with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), CDI applies a Common External Tariff (CET) on goods importations.

Starting in 2023, it is now mandatory for all calling vessels to dispose of onboard waste oils and sludge prior to departure, and to  provide the port authority with a copy of the valid International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate (IAPP Certificate) .

Legal System and Judicial Independence

The Ivoirian legal system is based on the French civil-law model. The law guarantees to all the right to own and transfer private property. Rural land, however, is governed by a separate set of laws, which makes ownership and transfer very difficult. The court system enforces contracts.

The Commercial Court of Abidjan adjudicates corporate law cases and contract disputes. Mediation is also available through the Ivoirian legal framework in addition to the Commercial Court and the Arbitration Tribunal. The Commercial Court of Abidjan retains jurisdiction for the entire country.

The Ivoirian judicial system is ostensibly independent, but magistrates are sometimes subject to political or financial influence. Judges sometimes fail to prove that their decisions are based on the legal or contractual merits of a case and often rule against foreign investors in favor of entrenched interests. A frequent complaint from investors is the slow dispute-resolution process. Cases are often postponed or appealed without a reasonable explanation, moving from court to court for years or even decades. Regulations or enforcement actions are appealable and adjudicated through the national court system.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The 2018 Investment Code is the primary governing authority for investment conduct. The Code does not restrict foreign investment or the repatriation of funds. The Code offers a mixture of fiscal incentives, combining tax exoneration, patents and licenses contribution, and tax credits to encourage investment. The government also offers incentives to promote small businesses and entrepreneurs, low-cost housing construction, factories, and infrastructure development, which the government considers key to the country’s economic development. Concessionary agreements that exempt investors from tax payments require the additional approval of the Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The clearance procedure for planned investments, if the investor seeks tax breaks, is time consuming and confusing. Even when companies have complied fully with the requirements, the Tax Office sometimes denies tax exemptions with little explanation, giving rise to accusations of favoritism. Taxation techniques remain sometimes opaque, creating tax disputes between companies and the General Directorate of Taxes.

Some sectors have additional laws that govern investment activity in those sectors. In mining, for example, the Mining Code allows for a ten-year holding period for permits with an option to extend the permit for an additional two years on 400 square kilometers. The government imposes local-content requirements in the oil and gas sector, such as the requirement that companies hire locals, finance personnel training, and support local SMEs. The government in partnership with the French Institute of Petroleum, created the National School of Petroleum and Energy to train professionals in the sector.

The government is actively seeking to increase the share of local processing of raw agricultural commodities for export from 10 percent to 50 percent by 2025 and is looking for private investments to help reach this goal.

Côte d’Ivoire is a net energy exporter and is making investments to retake that position as the sub-region’s energy hub. Côte d’Ivoire entered contracts with neighboring countries (Ghana, Mali, Burkina-Faso, and Guinea) to supply electricity through its relatively well-established transmission network. According to 2021 data, the country production of oil reduced moving from 38,000 to 24036 barrels-per-day (bpd) of oil from four blocks and 213 million cubic-feet-per-day of gas. The country has divided its offshore Exclusive Economic Zone into 51 hydrocarbons blocks, of which 18 blocks remain available for bid. Currently, the production of gas is entirely used for electricity production. The government seeks to attract more foreign companies to invest in the oil and gas sector. In 2021, the large Italian oil company ENI discovered oil and gas at an offshore well site called “Baleine.” It is expected to enter production in the second quarter of 2023, with daily output of 12,000 barrels of oil and 17.5 million cubic feet of gas. The government purchases all the local gas production for its electricity production, via guaranteed “take or pay contracts.”

The CEPICI provides a one-stop shop website to assist investors. More information on Côte d’Ivoire’s laws, rules, procedures, and reporting requirements can be found at: 

Competition and Antitrust Laws

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Small Business Promotion, through the Commission on Anti-Competition Practices, is responsible for reviewing competition–related concerns under the 1991 competition law, which was last updated in 2013. ANRMP is responsible for reviewing the awarding of contracts.

No significant competition cases were reported over the past year.

Expropriation and Compensation

The Ivoirian constitution guarantees the right to own property and freedom from expropriation without compensation. The government may expropriate property with due compensation (fair market value) at the time of expropriation in the case of “public interest.” Perceived corruption and weak judicial and security capacity, however, have resulted in poor enforcement of private property rights, particularly when the entity in question is foreign and the plaintiff is Ivoirian or a long-established foreign resident.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Côte d’Ivoire is a signatory to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and a signatory to the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

In cases where a firm does not meet the nationality conditions stipulated by Article 25 of the Convention, the dispute must be resolved within the provisions of the supplementary mechanisms approved by the ICSID.

In September 2021, Côte d’Ivoire and China signed an agreement to settle commercial disputes between Ivoirian companies and Chinese companies.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Côte d’Ivoire is a signatory to investment agreements prescribing binding international arbitration of investment disputes. Côte d’Ivoire recognizes and has been known to enforce foreign arbitral awards, but enforcement is inconsistent.

In the past 10 years, foreign investors have had investment disputes, which have often been resolved through arbitration or amicable settlement. Recently some U.S. firms encountered tax disputes with the government. As Côte d’Ivoire is a signatory to the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, local courts are obliged to enforce foreign arbitral awards. However, one U.S. company has complained about unfair practices and competition by the telecommunication regulating agency pertaining to access to airtime and network access.

The U.S. government is not aware of any history of extrajudicial action against foreign investors, including U.S. firms.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

The Abidjan-based regional Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) provides a means of solving contractual disputes. The arbitration tribunal can enforce awards quickly, but most business contracts are written to specify that disputes will be settled in Ivoirian courts, thus the Ivoirian court system is the first resort.

Côte d’Ivoire is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA – Organisation pour l’harmonisation en Afrique du droit des Affaires) whose provisions, adopted in 1999, have replaced domestic law on arbitration. The unified law is based on the model law of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Judgments of foreign courts are recognized but difficult to enforce in local courts. To avoid being forced to work through the Ivoirian legal system, some investors stipulate in contracts that disputes must be settled through international commercial arbitration. Even if stipulated in the contract, decisions reached through OHADA are sometimes not honored by local courts.

The U.S. government is not aware of cases in which Côte d’Ivoire’s domestic courts have shown preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises involved in investment disputes.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) created the African Commission to build capacity in the region and strengthen the arbitration infrastructure throughout the continent while engaging with a range of stakeholders to promote ICC Arbitration, as well as ICC’s alternative disputes resolution services.

Bankruptcy Regulations

Côte d’Ivoire ranked 85 out of 190 countries for ease of resolving insolvency, according to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report (the last available). As a member of OHADA, Côte d’Ivoire has both commercial and bankruptcy laws that address the liquidation of business liabilities. OHADA is a regional system of uniform laws on bankruptcy, debt collection, and rules governing business transactions. OHADA permits three different types of bankruptcy liquidation: an ordered suspension of payment to permit a negotiated settlement; an ordered suspension of payment to permit restructuring of the company, like Chapter 11; and the complete liquidation of assets, similar to Chapter 7. Creditors’ rights, irrespective of nationality, are protected equally by the Act. Bankruptcy is not criminalized. Court-ordered monetary settlements resulting from declarations of bankruptcy are usually paid out in local currency.

The joint venture Credit Info – Volo West Africa manages regional credit bureaus in WAEMU.

Investment Incentives

The 2018 Investment Code offers a mixture of fiscal incentives, combining tax exoneration and tax credits focusing on agriculture, agri-business, tourism, health, and education. These may include a full exoneration of customs duties or suspended VAT, and tax exemptions to business operations in some remote areas, with incentives based on the type of investment, phase of operation, local content, and participation. There are also incentives to promote small businesses and entrepreneurship, low-cost housing construction, factories, and infrastructure development, which the government considers key to the country’s broad-scale economic development. The Investment Code, the Petroleum Code and the Mining Code delineate incentives available to new investors in CDI.

Following the peak of the COVID 19-pandemic, the government subsidized the construction sector by easing access to bank loans, reducing taxes on cement, capping cement prices, reducing the time needed to register land, and encouraging foreign investors to develop social housing projects by providing loan guarantees. In 2022, several foreign companies, mostly from Morocco and Turkey, announced massive social housing projects.

In 2022, the government capped the price of diesel gasoline, while the price of unleaded gasoline rose by 27 percent. Though not a common practice, the government occasionally guarantees loans or jointly finances foreign direct investment projects.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

Created in 2008, the Ivoirian free trade zone (FTZ) for information technology and biotechnology (VITIB) is in the town of Grand Bassam in the greater Abidjan area. In 2014, VITIB established the Mahatma Gandhi Technology Park at Grand Bassam. Bonded warehouses exist, and bonded zones within factories are allowed. High port costs and maritime freight rates have inhibited the development of in-bond manufacturing or processing, and there are consequently no general foreign trade zones.

A FTZ exists at the Port of Abidjan specifically for fish processing. In force since December 2005, this FTZ is reserved for companies that earn at least 90 percent of their turnover from exports. Eligible companies are exempt from all duties and taxes, including on imported and exported goods and services. They also enjoy preferential rates for water, electricity, telephone, and fuel supplied by public or semi-public establishments. A fee applies to FTZ companies, the amount of which is fixed by decree.

Côte d’Ivoire’s ports (the Autonomous Port of Abidjan and the Autonomous Port of San-Pedro) follow the ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) Code. In 2022 the U.S. Coast Guard removed Ivoirian Ports (Port of Abidjan, and Port of San-Pedro) from the Port Advisory list.

Although ECOWAS established the external common tariff system and contributes to the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTDA), transfer of goods from one country to another within the region remains problematic, mainly due to unclear customs tariffs and long wait times at borders.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

The government strongly encourages investors and firms to hire Ivoirian employees via incentives outlined in the Investment Code, but this is not a requirement. In March 2021, the government implemented the law on local content in the oil and gas sector. This law gives preference to Ivoirian companies and Ivoirian employees. The country aims to build “National Champions” in the oil and gas sector, while transferring knowledge and technical know-how to local employees. It also provides incentives and access to financial services and local insurance.
The 2018 Investment Code guarantees the freedom for companies to designate senior management and board members.

Citizens of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries can legally work in Côte d’Ivoire without additional permissions and do not need a residency permit. For other nationalities, visas and permits for work and residency are required. The investment promotion agency CEPICI facilitates the visa and permit process. The process is not onerous and does not inhibit the ability of foreign investors and their employees to enter and exit the country.

There are no government-imposed trade restrictions on investment, including tariff and non-tariff barriers. However, all imports are subject to the External Common Tariff for all ECOWAS countries.

The government does occasionally place conditions on location, local content, equity ownership, import substitution, export requirements, host country employment, and technology. For example, the Ivoirian government required that one U.S. fast food franchise use locally sourced key ingredients, which it can do. The government also makes use of tax exemptions and customs exonerations to incentivize companies to do more value-added processing in Côte d’Ivoire. There are no performance requirements for investments.

Cellular telephone companies must meet technology performance requirements to maintain their licenses. The U.S. government does not know of any requirements that Côte d’Ivoire imposes on foreign information technology firms to give the government source code or provide access to encryption. The U.S. government advocates for fair competition between companies.

ART-CI is responsible for the oversight of local data storage.

Real Property

The Ivoirian civil code provides for the enforcement of private property rights, and the government has undertaken reform efforts to secure property rights. The cost of capital is high, and mortgages are costly, which inhibits investment. Secured interests in property are enforced by the Land Registry Office of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report (the last year the report was available), Côte d’Ivoire is ranked 112 out of 190 countries for ease of registering property.

Land tenure is a complicated and sensitive issue. Land tenure disputes exist all over the country owing to multiple forms of traditional land rights based on collective tenure and the lack of formal private land ownership in most areas. Companies wishing to purchase land must have the property surveyed before obtaining title and obtaining construction authorization. Surveying is tightly controlled by a small group of companies and can often cost more than the value of the parcel of land. This has led to corruption in the authorization process.

There were also reports of corruption in the building inspection process, resulting in shoddy construction and building collapses. In 2021, the government began streamlining and regularizing this process to accelerate construction authorizations and ensure quality construction. The Ministry of Construction has established a department to help individuals obtain land title and resolve disputes.

Freehold land tenure in rural areas remains difficult to negotiate, however, and can inhibit foreign investment. Most businesses, including agribusinesses and forestry companies, circumvent the complicated land purchase process by acquiring long-term leases instead. There are regulations designed to control land speculation in urban areas, but they do not prevent foreigners from owning land.

There are solely two documents conferring a land property to an individual or moral entity. They are called the ACD (Arreté de Construction Definitif) and the Land Title (Titre Foncier), often provided for rural land ownership. The former is delivered by the Minister of Construction, and the latter by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Foreign and/or nonresident investors who wish to lease land must obtain a permit for the development of the site, as well as a prefectural or sub-prefectural order recognizing occupation of the site.

The Audace Institute, an independent Ivoirian think tank, estimates that 96 percent of land in Côte d’Ivoire does not have a clear title. The World Bank estimates that only 30 percent of property owners have clear title. There have been several attempts by the government to require rural landowners register their lands, the most recent set a deadline of end 2023 with a consequence that unregistered lands will be transferred to government ownership. However, land registration is onerous, and many owners are unable to afford the complex process. As with other aspects of Ivoirian law, follow-up and enforcement is uneven.

Intellectual Property Rights

Côte d’Ivoire is not listed in the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 Report or the Notorious Markets List.

The Ivoirian Civil Code includes measures to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), but the government has limited capacity to enforce them. Inadequate enforcement of intellectual property rights remains a serious problem. The government’s Office of Intellectual Property (OIPI – Office Ivoirien de la Propriété Intellectuelle) is charged with ensuring the protection of patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and commercial names. Patents are valid for 10 years, with the possibility of two extensions of five years each. Trademarks are valid for 10 years and are renewable indefinitely. Copyrights are valid for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. The Ivoirian Copyright Office (BURIDA- Bureau Ivoirien du droit d ’auteur) has a labeling system in place to prevent counterfeiting and to protect audio, video, literary, and artistic property rights in music and computer programs. A new office within BURIDA charged with IPR and combating counterfeiting was inaugurated in November 2021. This office gathers large and small enterprises around counterfeiting practices and best methods to fight them. While Ivoirian IPR law is in conformity with standards established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the country lacks adequate customs inspections at its porous borders, limiting the law’s impact.

In 2022, Côte d’Ivoire was one of the top three countries in the African Organization for Intellectual property (OAPI), based on the number of IPR submissions it processed.

The government did not adopt any IPR-related laws or regulations in 2022. In 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Art, and Entertainment Business established committees that study and make recommendations for the reform and restructuring of BURIDA.

The National Committee to Combat Counterfeiting (CNLC – Comité national de la Lutte Contre la contrefaçon) coordinates national efforts against counterfeit and pirated goods. By law, the government must protect intellectual property on both exported and imported goods. Customs has the power to seize imported products that violate IPR laws even if installed with other equipment, including equipment detained, marketed, or illegally supplied. Such seizures, generally of counterfeit consumer goods (increasingly medicines), are routinely publicized on government websites and media outlets, although statistics on seizures are unavailable. IPR violations are prosecuted, and penalties vary from imprisonment of three months to 10 years and fines from 100,000 to 5,000,000 CFA ($166 to $8,333 based on an average exchange rate of 600 CFA to one dollar).

For additional information about national laws and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at 

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Government policies generally encourage foreign portfolio investment.

The Regional Stock Exchange (BRVM) is in Abidjan and the BRVM lists companies from the eight countries of the WAEMU. The existing regulatory system effectively facilitates portfolio investment through the West African Central Bank (BCEAO). The Regional Council for Savings Investments (CREPMF) sets the rules and regulations regarding the market participants and market structure. There is sufficient liquidity in the markets to enter and exit sizeable positions. However, the market follows a limit-order mechanism. Besides traditional foreign trade risk management tools offered by commercial banks (i.e., export credits, trade bills), the stock exchange does not provide markets for forwards, futures, or options derivative instruments. Market volatility is low. The market benchmark BRVM Composite rose to 7.86 percent in 2022.
Government policies allow the free flow of financial resources into investing in financial assets.
The BCEAO respects IMF Article VIII on payment and transfers for current international transactions.

Credit allocation is based on market terms and has increased to support the private sector and economic growth, specifically for large businesses. The Central Bank monitors inflation, money supply, and business cycles to ensure efficient monetary policy. The Central Bank rose policy and marginal interest rates by 25 percent, aiming to bring down the inflation rate, currently at 4.8 percent, to its advised rate between one to three percent. Foreign investors can acquire credit on the local market. This year, the government facilitated access to capital by lowering borrowing interest rates for real estate companies.

Money and Banking System

As of January, there were 30 commercial banks and two credit institutions in Côte d’Ivoire. Banks are expanding their national networks, especially in the secondary cities outside Abidjan, as domestic investment has increased up-country. The total number of bank branches has more than doubled from 324 in 2010 to 725 branches in 2019 (latest data available). According to the World Bank, in 2017 (latest data available) 41 percent of the population over the age of 15 have a bank account. Alternative financial services available include mobile money and microfinance for bill payments and transfers. Many Ivoirians prefer mobile money over traditional banking, but mobile money does not yet offer the same breadth of financial services as banks. A major U.S. telecommunication company opened its bank services, enabling consumers to make banking transactions. The number of virtual players with virtual account and digital wallets is also growing.

Most Ivoirian banks are compliant with the BCEAO’s minimum capital requirements. The government facilitated mortgages for foreign investors in housing in Côte d’Ivoire.

Foreign banks are allowed to operate in Côte d’Ivoire; at least one has been in Côte d’Ivoire for decades. They are subject to the WAEMU Banking Commission’s prudential measures and regulations. There have been no reports of Côte d’Ivoire losing any correspondent banking relationships in the past three years. No correspondent banking relationships are known to be in jeopardy. In 2023, a major U.S. investment banking company opened its regional headquarters in Abidjan.

Capital transfers or repatriation funds can be cumbersome as they sometimes necessitate prior authorization from the government.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange

Côte d’Ivoire is a member of WAEMU, which uses the West African CFA Franc (XOF). The French Treasury holds the foreign exchange reserves of WAEMU member states and supports the fixed exchange rate of 655 CFA to the Euro. Negotiations are still pending to create a new common regional currency to be called the Eco. Nigeria, which would represent 70 percent of the market, has expressed strong objections.

There are no restrictions on the transfer or repatriation of capital and income earned, or on investments financed with convertible foreign currency. Once an investment is established and documented, the government regularly approves the remittances of dividends and/or repatriation of capital. The same holds true for requests for other sorts of transactions (e.g., imports, licenses, and royalty fees).

Funds associated with investments funded with convertible currency are freely convertible into any world currency.

Remittance Policies

There are no recent changes or plans to change investment remittance policies. There are no time limitations on remittances. Total personal remittances received by Ivoirians were about $440 million in 2021 or 0.6 percent of GDP.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Côte d’Ivoire does not have a sovereign wealth fund. In 2020, Rothschild Bank was reported in the press to have been awarded the contract to create one.

Companies owned or controlled by the state are subject to national laws and the tax code. The Ivoirian government still holds substantial interests in many firms, including the refinery SIR (49 percent), the public transport firm (60 percent), the national television station RTI (98 percent), the national lottery (80 percent), the national airline Air Côte d’Ivoire (58 percent), and the land management agency Agency de Gestion Foncière AGEF (35 percent). Total assets of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were $796 million and total net income of SOEs was $116 million in 2018 (latest figures). Of the 82 SOEs, 28 are wholly government-owned and 12 are majority government-owned, the government owns a blocking minority in seven and holds minority shares in 35. Each SOE has an independent board. The government has begun the process of divestiture for some SOEs (see next section). There are active SOEs in the banking, agri-business, mining, and telecom industries.

The published list of SOEs is available at ex.php?p=portefeuille_etat 
SOEs competing in the domestic market do not receive non-market-based advantages from the government. They are subject to the same tax burdens and policies as private companies.
CDI does not adhere to OECD guidelines for SOE corporate governance (it is not a member of OECD).

In 2021, audits of several SOEs highlighted serious irregularities (alleged embezzlement estimated at several tens or even hundreds of billions of FCFA, i.e., up to hundreds of millions of dollars). The SOEs include FER (Fonds d’Entretien Routier – Road Maintenance Fund), FDFP (Fonds de Développement de formation professionnelle – Vocational Training Development Fund), ART-CI (Autorité de Régulation des Telecommunications de Côte D’Ivoire – Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Côte d’Ivoire) , and ANSUT (Agence Nationale Du Service Universel De Telecommunications – National Universal Telecommunications Service Agency), whose leaders have been removed and replaced.

Privatization Program

The government has been pursuing SOE privatization for decades, the most recent of which was in 2018. That year, the government sold 51 percent of the Housing Bank of Côte d’Ivoire (BHCI – Banque d ’Habitat de Côte d’Ivoire). See previous Investment Climate Statements for past privatization efforts.

Contracts for participation in SOE privatization are competed through a French-language public tendering process, for which foreign investors are encouraged to submit bids. The Privatization Committee, which reports to the Prime Minister, maintains a website. The 2019 (latest) report is available at: .

The private sector, the government, NGOs, and local communities are becoming progressively aware of the importance of Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) regarding environmental, social, and governance issues in Côte d’Ivoire.

Investors seeking to implement projects in energy, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, waste management, and extractive industries are required by decree to provide an environmental impact study prior to approval. Under the new National Development Plan and sustainable finance regime, government has laid down specific criteria to review, select, fund, and monitor private investment with the goal of channeling funds into priority sectors. Foreign businesses, particularly in mining, energy, and agriculture, often provide social infrastructure, including schools and health care clinics, to communities close to their sites of operation. Companies are not required under Ivoirian law to disclose information relating to RBC, although many companies, especially in the cocoa sector, publicize their work. Cocoa companies publicize efforts to improve sustainability and combat the worst forms of child labor. As a part of public-procurement reform, the Ministry of Budget plans to include social needs in public-procurement contracts to support job creation, fair trade, decent working conditions, social inclusion, and compliance with social standards. On the environment, suggested reforms include selecting goods and services that have a smaller impact on the environment.

There are reports of children subjected to forced labor in agricultural work, particularly on cocoa farms. In 2022, the government security forces made some arrests. The cases were prosecuted and often resulted in jail time for perpetrators.

Conseil du Café et Cacao started the distribution of traceability cards to cocoa farmers to ensure fair payment, environment friendly crops, and cocoa free of child and forced labor. This new government traceability system will be the norm for all cocoa operators.

The government, through the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection, sets workplace health and safety standards and is responsible for enforcing labor laws.

The OHADA outlines corporate governance standards that protect shareholders. There are government-funded agencies in charge of monitoring business conduct. Human rights, environmental protection, and other NGOs report misconduct and violations of good governance practices.

Côte d’Ivoire participates in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and discloses revenues and payments in the oil, gas, and mineral sectors. More information can be found at: .

Côte d’Ivoire is not a signatory of the Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies. Some private security companies operating in the country are participants of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers Association (ICoCA).

In 2022, the government took active measures against State Owned Enterprises not paying their local contractors, generally SMEs. For example, after the FER general manager was removed, the acting manager made immediate payments to concerned SMEs.

Additional Resources

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

Climate Issues

In 2000, Conservation International designated the tropical Guinean forests of West Africa, an area which includes Côte d’Ivoire’s forests, as one of 36 biodiversity hotspots – the most biologically rich, yet threatened terrestrial regions on Earth. Half a century ago, tropical forest covered 16 million hectares in Côte d’Ivoire.  Today, less than 2.9 million hectares of forest remain, mainly the result of land conversion for agricultural crops (primarily cocoa) and logging.

The government accords priority to investment that enhances environmental sustainability. It has developed policies to combat forest degradation, namely the National Policy on Forest Preservation, Rehabilitation, and Expansion in 2018 and the Forest Code in 2019. These policies create an economically viable route to promote reforesting. Further progress will require the government to define carbon rights in the Ivoirian legal code and address crucial legal issues, such as time limits for the land certificate registration process, guidelines for lumber sales by legitimate owners, and how to relocate people who have settled illegally in the protected forests.

In 2023, the EU launched officially the EU deforestation bill, which prohibits products associated with forested areas from entering the EU market unless they are certified “zero deforestation.” The EU identified five commodities and their derivatives. These include coffee, cocoa, palm oil, logging, soya, and derivatives. The bill will take effect in May-June 2023, with enforcement controls starting in January 2024. Companies are required to provide a “diligence raisonée” (reasonable diligence) certificate detailing the origin of production, which must be free of deforestation and child/forced labor. SMEs will receive a six-month extension until June 2024.

Côte d’Ivoire is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Paris Agreement and has submitted its revised nationally determined contributions (NDCs), committing to action both on adaptation to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (30 percent by 2030). Côte d’Ivoire is also involved in a multi-country effort coordinated by the World Bank to develop a national climate-smart agricultural investment plan (CSAIP). The national plan prioritizes a set of 12 investments and actions needed to boost crop resilience and enhance yields.

Following COP15 of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Côte d’Ivoire established the Abidjan Initiative or the Abidjan Legacy Program to raise $1.5 billion over five years. It is a national sustainability program fostering agroindustry transformation development. The program aims to restore 20 percent of its forest cover by 2030, mechanize agriculture and increase productivity, and make existing agricultural value chains more sustainable.

Many companies cite corruption as the most significant obstacle to investment. Corruption in many forms is deeply ingrained in public- and private-sector practices and remains a serious impediment to investment and economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire. It has he most significant negative impact on judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues. Lack of transparency and the government’s failure to follow its own tendering procedures in the awarding of contracts lead businesses to conclude bribery was involved. Businesses have reported encountering corruption at every level of the civil service, with some judges appearing to base their decisions on bribes. Clearance of goods at the ports often requires substantial “commissions.” The demand for bribes can mean that containers stay at the Port of Abidjan for months, incurring substantial demurrage charges, despite companies presenting the proper paperwork.

In 2013, the government issued Executive Order number 2013-660 related to preventing and combatting corruption. The High Authority for Good Governance serves as the government’s anti-corruption authority. Its mandate includes raising awareness about corruption, investigating corruption in the public and private sectors, and collecting mandated asset disclosures from certain public officials (e.g., the president, ministers, and mayors) upon entering and leaving office. The High Authority for Good Governance, however, does not have a mandate to prosecute; it must refer cases to the Attorney General who decides whether to take up those cases. The country’s financial intelligence office, CENTIF, has broad authority to investigate suspicious financial transactions, including those of government officials.
Despite the establishment of these bodies and credible allegations of widespread corruption, there have been few charges filed, and few prosecutions and judgments against prominent people for corruption. The domestic business community generally assesses that these watchdog agencies lack the power and/or will combat corruption effectively.

Côte d’Ivoire ratified the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, but the country is not a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (which is open to non-OECD members). In 2016, Côte d’Ivoire joined the Partnership on Illicit Finance, which obliges it to develop an action plan to combat corruption.

Under the Ivoirian Penal Code, a bribe by a local company to a foreign official is a criminal act. Some private companies use compliance programs or measures to prevent bribery of government officials. U.S. firms underscore to their Ivoirian counterparts that they are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Anti-corruption laws extend to family members of officials and to political parties. The country’s Code of Public Procurement No. 259 and the associated WAEMU directives cover conflicts-of-interest in awarding contracts or government procurement.

There are no special protections for NGOs that investigate corruption. Whistleblower protections are also weak.

The government set up a platform named SPACIA where entities can denounce corruption. In 2022, SPACIA registered 510 complaints amounting to an estimated 52.6 billion CFA across different economic sectors. They conducted 81 investigations, which led to the arrest of twenty government officials.

Côte d’Ivoire improved its corruption perception indicator, moving from 36 to 37 points out of 100. According to Transparency International, the country gained 6 seats in the global transparency index, moving from 105th to 99th out of 180 countries.

In September 2022, the government launched a new platform named e-fournisseur, a procurement system for companies to access public markets. This reinforces the government’s strategy to involve more SMEs in national procurement, as well as track procurement and good governance: 

Resources to Report Corruption

Inspector General of Finance
(Brigade de Lutte Contre la Corruption)
Mr. Lassina Sylla
Inspector General
TELEPHONE: +225 20212000/2252 9797
FAX: +225 20211082/2252 9798
HOTLINE: +225 8000 0380 

High Authority for Good Governance
(Haute Autorité pour la Bonne Gouvernance)
Mr. N’Golo Coulibaly
TELEPHONE: +225 272 2479 5000
FAX: +225 2247 8261 

Police Anti-Racketeering Unit
(Unité de Lutte Contre le Racket –ULCR)
Mr. Alain Oura
Unit Commander
TELEPHONE: +225 272 244 9256 

Social Justice
(Initiative pour la Justice Sociale, la Transparence et la Bonne Gouvernance en Côte d’Ivoire)
Ananeraie face pharmacie Mamie Adjoua
TELEPHONE: +225 272 177 6373 

Following peaceful and inclusive legislative elections in March 2021, Côte d’Ivoire entered a period of political stability. Major opposition parties participated and won a meaningful number of seats in elections internationally deemed credible. The political leadership acknowledged that internal and regional security are prerequisites for sustained economic growth and longer-term stability. All political parties participated in a structured Political Dialogue aimed at fostering reconciliation and strengthening democratic institutions, including dispute resolution mechanisms. The fifth round of the Political Dialogue concluded in March 2022 and produced a consensus list of tangible recommendations to the President of the Republic, most of which have been implemented. The regional and municipal elections will take place in September 2023, and will be the first since 2001 in which all of the main political parties will participate. The next presidential election is scheduled for 2025, leaving a window of opportunity for the country’s political leaders to focus on difficult reforms.

The government has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing insecurity in the region by strengthening its capacity to counter terrorism, strengthen social resilience, professionalize law enforcement, strengthen its justice system, and improve border security. In June 2021, Côte d’Ivoire and France inaugurated the International Academy for the Fight Against Terrorism (AILCT) near Jacqueville, west of Abidjan. The aim of this academy is to train relevant cadres (e.g., prosecutors, forensic investigators) and security forces from the African continent to strengthen capacity to prevail against self-styled jihadists within respect for law and human rights, thereby reinforcing ties between the population and the state. This comes at a time of increased security challenges emanating from the Sahel and spilling over into Côte d’Ivoire’s northern region.

In 2021, the official unemployment rate is 2.8 percent; however, unemployment is difficult to measure in the informal sector, which is estimated to account for as much as 80 percent of the Ivoirian economy. Of the non-agricultural workforce, 47 percent is employed in the informal economy. Official statistics fail to fully account for the large informal economy throughout the country, and do not accurately portray the general dearth of well-paying employment opportunities. Despite the government’s efforts, child labor remained a widespread problem in rural and urban areas, notably on cocoa and coffee plantations, as well as in artisanal gold mining areas and in domestic work.

There are significant shortages of skilled labor in fields requiring higher education, including information technology, engineering, finance, management, health, and science. The government is working with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to build and develop four technical and vocational training centers as part of a six-year Compact valued at over $536 million that will end in August 2025. The Compact comprises two projects: road transportation and education. MCC is also negotiating a regional Energy Compact focusing on Côte d’Ivoire.

Labor laws favor the employment of Ivoirians in private enterprises. Any vacant position must be advertised for two months. If after two months no qualified Ivoirian is found, the employer may recruit a foreigner provided it plans to recruit an Ivoirian to fill the position within the next two years. This law is sometimes overlooked by employers. ECOWAS citizens are free to work in Côte d’Ivoire, providing they use their consular card, delivered by their respective Embassies in the country.

There are no restrictions on employers adjusting employment in response to fluctuating market conditions. Employees terminated for reasons other than theft or flagrant neglect of duty have the right to termination benefits. Unemployment insurance and other social-safety programs exist for employees laid off for economic reasons. For the roughly 60-80 percent of workers employed in the informal sector, unemployment insurance is not an option. However, there are other social-safety-net programs that apply to informal economy workers, including monthly stipends and waiving universal health care fees.

Labor laws are not waived to attract or retain investment.

Collective bargaining agreements are in effect in many major business enterprises and sectors of the civil service. A prolonged teachers’ strike in 2019 was submitted for arbitration but due to the fractured nature of the teachers’ unions, not all parties agreed to the decision. Labor disputes are submitted to the labor inspector for amicable settlement before engaging in any legal proceedings. If this attempt to settle the dispute fails, then the labor court can be engaged to resolve the dispute.

No strike has posed an investment risk during the last year. There are no gaps between Ivoirian and international labor standards in law or practice that pose a reputational risk to investors.

The government did not adopt any new labor-related laws or regulations in 2021. In 2017, the government passed a law forbidding most forms of child labor for children under 12 and restricting work for minors aged 13 to 17. The law’s passage put Ivoirian law on par with ILO standards for child labor. The government established the National Surveillance Council (Conseil National de Surveillance, or CNS) and the Interministerial Committee (CIM – Conseil Interministériel). These agencies deal with child labor issues, especially in the cocoa sector. In January 2023, the government announced an increase in the minimum wage from 60,000 FCFA per month to 75,000 FCFA ($97 to $121), representing a 25 percent increase, on December 22.  The minimum wage increase is effective since January 1, 2023.

There are some shortages of skilled labor in fields requiring technical, vocational, and higher education, including information technology, engineering, finance, management, health, and science. The Ivoirian government is working with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to build and operate up to four technical and vocational training centers as well strengthen secondary education as part of a six-year Compact valued at over $536 million that will end in August 2025. The Compact comprises two projects: road transportation and education. MCC is negotiating with the government on the development of a potential regional compact in the energy sector.

There are currently four active DFC projects in Côte d’Ivoire targeting the energy, health, and manufacturing sectors. DFC continues to seek additional financing opportunities, particularly in energy and infrastructure. In 2017, the government ratified its investment incentive agreement with OPIC (DFC’s predecessor).

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy

Host Country Statistical source

USG or international statistical source

USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data





Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD)





Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical source

USG or international statistical source

USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)





BEA data available at

Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)





BEA data available at

Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP





World Bank data available at

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data

From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)

Inward Direct Investment (2022)

Outward Direct Investment (Last year data)

Total Inward


Total Outward





Burkina Faso





















Burkina Faso






“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

U.S. Embassy Abidjan
Political/Economic Section
Cocody Riviera Golf
BP 730 Abidjan Cidex 03
Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Phone: (+225) 27-22-49-40-00

On This Page

  2. 1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
    1. Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
    2. Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
    3. Other Investment Policy Reviews
    4. Business Facilitation
    5. Outward Investment
  3. 2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties
  4. 3. Legal Regime
    1. Transparency of the Regulatory System
    2. International Regulatory Considerations
    3. Legal System and Judicial Independence
    4. Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
    5. Competition and Antitrust Laws
    6. Expropriation and Compensation
    7. Dispute Settlement
      1. ICSID Convention and New York Convention
      2. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
      3. International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
    8. Bankruptcy Regulations
  5. 4. Industrial Policies
    1. Investment Incentives
    2. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
    3. Performance and Data Localization Requirements
  6. 5. Protection of Property Rights
    1. Real Property
    2. Intellectual Property Rights
  7. 6. Financial Sector
    1. Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
    2. Money and Banking System
    3. Foreign Exchange and Remittances
      1. Foreign Exchange
      2. Remittance Policies
    4. Sovereign Wealth Funds
  8. 7. State-Owned Enterprises
    1. Privatization Program
  9. 8. Responsible Business Conduct
    1. Additional Resources
    2. Climate Issues
  10. 9. Corruption
    1. Resources to Report Corruption
  11. 10. Political and Security Environment
  12. 11. Labor Policies and Practices
  13. 12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs
  14. 13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics.
  15. 14. Contact for More Information
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Côte d’Ivoire
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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future