Business Opportunities in Gabon

Business Opportunities in Gabon

Gabon is located on the Gulf of Guinea in Africa and has a population of approximately 1.1.6 million. President Ali Bongo Ondimba launched a reform plan for Gabon after years of corruption and infrastructure neglect. The “Emerging Gabon” initiative focuses on sustainable development, services, and manufacturing. Gabon’s largest industries are petroleum, minerals (mostly manganese), and timber. It has plans to develop its agricultural sector and improve its national infrastructure. The economy remains heavily dependent on oil, but the government is committed to diversifying to other sectors. Gabon’s gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $19.4 billion in 2013, up from $17.3 billion in 2012 (International Monetary Fund). Gabon’s average per capita income of $17,053 was the second highest in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, trailing only Equatorial Guinea. However, Gabon’s income distribution is extremely skewed and its rankings on human social indicators do not reflect its relative wealth. Gabon belongs to the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Communaute Economique et Monetaire de l’Afrique Centrale, CEMAC). As a CEMAC member, it uses the Central African franc (CFA), which is pegged to the euro (CFA 656 = 1). President Ali Bongo Ondimba was elected president in 2009. His predecessor was his father, President Omar Bongo, who led the country for 42 years. Gabon is a multiparty democracy, but the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) controls nearly every seat in parliament and most local offices. Presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in 2016. A former French colony, Gabon gained independence in 1960, but maintains strong economic, political, and cultural ties with France.”

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