Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cote d’Ivoire which is a member of ECOWAS, exports alcohols, animals, chemical products, cocoa beans and cocoa products, edible oils, plastic products and tea and coffee, while the main imports are fuel, rubber, textiles and textile products, vehicles and machinery.
Exchange Control is administered by the Directorate of External Trade and International Economic Relations in the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Planning. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency and travellers cheques which may be taken into the country, provided they are declared on arrival, and any unused amounts may be taken out again on leaving. Certain other import items are subject to annual volume or value quotas. Importers are required to obtain either an import licence or an intent to import from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry prior to importing non-prohibited goods.
Côte d'Ivoire is a contracting party to the International Convention on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System and has a free trade zone in Abidjan.
The market is really huge! The West African country nationals are free to roam in the whole of West Africa and they can buy and sell with their common money CFA (spelled cefa). One T shirt in Liberia can cost you 3-4 USD. There's really a lot of money which can be made by resolute, adventurous young Bangladeshi brothers and sisters( why not)!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The house price will not only double, it may increase many times over!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

CFA versus Dollar!

CFA versus Dollar!

let's consider investment situation in Dhaka! Say you sold your car for 5,00000 taka. You kept the money in the bank. Hoping to have it at least doubled in 5 years and hoping you'd buy two cars at the end of the tenure! But after 5 years, thanks to inflation, the car you sold would cost you about 10,00000 taka! Bad investment.
But say you want to invest 1 lac taka here at West African country Cote d'Ivoire, in Abidjan the commercial capital. One lac taka will get you about 1428 USD*500=714000 CFA. )Note: 1 dollar=500 CFA and 1 dollar+70 taka @ calculated.).
Say you buy a small house with that money= 1 lac taka. after 5 years, say the house price is doubled. and you sold it by 2 lacs=or 2857 USD. But look at the graph and see how the price of CFA is increasing! Say when the election is complete and the CFA regained it's lost glory and become 1 dollar =1 CFA like before? Or, 1 dollar gives you only 250 CFA after 5 years from now?
Now you will sell the house at 714000*2=1428000 CFA? and convert it into USD and you get 1428000 USD? Or 1428000/250=5712 USD?
Sounds funny? I know there are a lots of caveats but show this to any CFA (Certified Financial Accountant ) and he'll gasp aloud I am sure.
Think about this, dear Bangladeshi investors!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Coming to Cote d'Ivoire for business.

The interior ministry will give a paper to a sponsor who will give the details of any incumbent (Bangladeshi willing to come to Abidjan) and fill out a form. This form he will post to Bangladeshi at Dhaka (most likely). The man will come to Abidjan with his passport and the paper and hand his passport and that paper to the immigration, only to be collected later from the ministry with a fees and stamped for three months stay. This can be renewed every three months. Later he will ask for residency from the local police, a simple job...

He will go to the notary and ask for a business permission, with his investment. Then he will start importing stuffs from Bangladesh.

The market is really big. All West African country people come to Abidjan for buying things. The Chinese have already come. Some Indians too. The Lebanese are quite old! The French businesses are losing ground after the November massacre of local unarmed people by them and looks like the French are also leaving. Some void must be filled. It's high time Bangladeshi young entrepreneurs should come and do something here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Import into Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire is a member of the WTO, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known by its
French acronym, UEMOA), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In
January 2000, Cote d’Ivoire eliminated tariffs on imports from the eight member-countries of UEMOA
when UEMOA’s Common External Tariff entered into effect. Imports from all other countries are
subject to duty and tariffs based on the Common External Tariff Schedule of five percent on raw
materials and inputs for local manufacture, 10 percent for semi-finished goods, and 20 percent for
finished products. Additionally, a one percent statistical fee is levied on the CIF (customs, insurance,
freight) value except those destined for re-export, transit, or donations for humanitarian purposes under
international agreements. Other taxes on imports into Cote d’Ivoire are a one percent ECOWAS
community levy (solidarity tax) of the CIF value of imported goods. There are special taxes on fish (20
percent), rice (between 5 and 10 percent based on category), alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes, certain textile
products, and petroleum products. These special taxes are designed to protect national industries. The
Customs office collects a value-added tax (VAT) of 18 percent on all imports, reduced from 20 percent in
2003. This tax computation includes the CIF value added to the duty and the statistical fee.
Cote d’Ivoire reportedly continues to apply minimum import prices (MIPs) to imports of certain products.
Although it had a WTO waiver at one point allowing it to apply MIPs for some products, Cote d’Ivoire
continued to apply MIPs after the waiver’s expiration in January 2003, including to imports of products
never covered by the waiver.
There are no quotas on merchandise imports, although the following items are subject to import
prohibitions, restrictions, or prior authorization: petroleum products, animal products, live plants, seeds,
arms/munitions, plastic bags, distilling equipment, pornography, saccharin, narcotics, explosives, illicit
drugs, and toxic waste.
All items imported into Cote d'Ivoire must have a certificate of compliance to clear customs. Two
European companies are contracted to carry out all qualitative and quantitative verifications of goods
imported into Cote d'Ivoire equal to or higher than CFA 1.5 million (approximately $2,800). All
merchandise packaging must be clearly labeled as to its origin. Manufactured food products must be
labeled in French and have an expiration date. Standards generally follow the French or European norm.
The government of Cote d’Ivoire regularly and periodically issues notices of procurement tenders in the
local press, in the form of documentation sent to the U.S. Embassy, or sometimes published in
international magazines and newspapers. The implementing agency is usually the ministry making the
request or the ministry under whose tutelage the office functions. The Bureau National d’Etudes
Technique et Developpement (BNETD), the government’s technical planning agency and think tank,
sometimes serves as an executing agency representing ministries for major projects to be financed by the
World Bank or the African Development Bank. On occasion, there is a charge for the bidding documents.
The government has created a centralized office of public bids in the Finance Ministry to help ensure
compliance with international bidding practices. While theoretically the procurement process is open,
some well-entrenched French companies, through their relations with government officials, may on
occasion retain preferred position in securing bid awards.
Banks and insurance companies are subject to licensing requirements, but there are no restrictions on
foreign ownership or establishment of subsidiaries. Foreign participation in computer services, education,
and training currently is widespread. Prior approval, however, is required for foreign investment in the
health sector, travel agencies, law, and accounting firms, and majority foreign ownership of companies in
these sectors is not permitted. Foreign companies currently operate successfully in all these sectors.
Three U.S. accounting firms and one U.S. bank currently have branches in Cote d’Ivoire.
Cote d’Ivoire places no limits on foreign investment but does set limits on some sectors in which majority
ownership must be Ivoirian. The government actively encourages foreign investment through mergers,
privatizations and acquisitions, management concessions, or new start-ups. In recent years, however,
political stability has become a big issue weighing on business and investor confidence. The negative
effects of the 1999 coup d’etat, the ensuing 10-month military rule, and the upheavals surrounding the
elections in October 2001 had not dissipated when another attempted coup and rebellion gripped the
nation in September 2002. Ongoing attempts at national reconciliation, while showing progress, have
been slow and protracted.
The Ivoirian Civil Code protects the acquisition and disposition of intellectual property rights. Legal
protection for intellectual property may fall short of TRIPS standards. Cote d'Ivoire is a party to the Paris
Convention, its 1958 revision, and the 1977 Bangui Agreement covering 16 Francophone African
countries in the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). Effective February 2002, changes
were made to the Bangui Accords in an effort to bring them into conformity with TRIPS. Under OAPI,
rights registered in one member country are valid for other member states. Patents are valid for ten years,
with the possibility of two five-year extensions. Trademarks are valid for ten years and are renewable
indefinitely. Copyrights are valid for 50 years.
In 2001, Ivoirian experts drafted a new law in an effort to bring Cote d’Ivoire into conformity with
TRIPS. The new law adds specific protection for computer programs, databases, and authors’ rights with
regard to rented films and videos. The National Assembly has not yet approved this legislation.
The government’s Office of Industrial Property is charged with ensuring the protection of patents,
trademarks, industrial designs, and commercial names. The office faces an array of challenges, including
resource allocation, political will, and the distraction of the ongoing political crisis. As a result,
enforcement of IPR is largely ineffective. Foreign companies, especially from east and south Asia, flood
the Ivoirian market with all types of counterfeit goods. Government efforts to combat piracy are modest.
The Ivoirian Office of Author’s Rights (BURIDA), established in 1998, recently established a new sticker
system to enter into effect in January 2004 to protect phonograph, video, literary and artistic property
rights in music and computer programs. BURIDA’s operations remain hampered by a long-running
dispute over policy and who should direct the agency, but the agency does help to promote IPR
enforcement with lawyers and magistrates.
Electronic commerce is in its very early stages in Cote d’Ivoire but is expected to grow over time. There
are a number of cultural barriers to growth, including the custom of paying with cash and the absence of
widespread issuance and use of credit cards. However, a few individuals and small businesses have
begun experimenting with electronic commerce, and interest in the medium continues to gain ground.
Many U.S. companies view corruption as an obstacle to investment in Cote d’Ivoire. Corruption has the
greatest impact on judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues. It is common for
judges open to financial influence to distort the merits of a case. Corruption and the recent political crisis
have affected the Ivoirian government’s ability to attract and maintain foreign investment. Some U.S.
investors have raised specific concerns about the rule of law and the government’s ability to provide equal
protection under the law.
There is no specific legal provision for the arbitration of investment disputes, although in 1989 the
Supreme Court upheld the use of arbitration. Cote d’Ivoire is a member of the International Center for
the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Things are quite expensive here at Abidjan. Well, almost everything! But the things which are not relatively expensive are land, leasehold, electricity, cacao, coffee and some fruits like mango. All other essential commodities can be three times more expense than Dhaka. But everyday new constructions are coming up. Seems like economy is going to get a stronger foothold, although the elections seems at least another year away. I met some Bangladeshi businessmen here at Abidjan yesterday. They are here for last 10-11 years. They say, Bangladesh investors can get huge profit from investing here in Cote d'Ivoire. I hope there will be a lot of manpower coming into these parts of the world from Bangladesh. I hope the facilitate some information here in this regard. I start with the procedure to open a business here in Abidjan. Following is a we translation from the official registre du commerce:

With the aim of simplify the formalities of creation of a company, it was instituted a single counter of the investment. Located in the Center of Promotion of Investments (CEPICI), its competence extends to the only formalities from formation of companies which go, strictly speaking, of the recording of the statutes to the publication, the opinion of creation while passing by the registration of the company to the register of trade and loan on personal property.

However, and conformément as well with the spirit of these texts as to the recommendations made by the Government on the matter, the CEPICI deals with, downstream, the achievement of certain formalities complementary to tax, social or different nature making it possible to carry out the follow-up of the company. All the formalities relating to the formation of company can also be made while being addressed to law firms.

The constitution of a company in Ivory Coast supposes the achievement of a certain number of formalities (11 formalities whose 9 administrations are recipients). Cf table Ci afterwards:

Administration recipient
Parts required
Documents to be obtained

1 - Authenticated declaration of subscription and payment. Notary - Receipt of deposit of funds delivered by the bank
- List of the subscribers
Assembling sums paid by each one
Application forms into double specimens

2 - Recording of the statutes and the authenticated declaration of subscription and payment- to make within one month as from the date being reproduced on the statutes

Direction of the Recording and the Stamp

Administrative city, turn E 3rd stage carries 47


- 8 original specimens of the signed and initialed statutes.

- For SA 8 specimens of the verbal lawsuit of the assembly constitutive and the verbal lawsuit of the council.
- stamp charges 500 FCFA on each sheet of each specimen.

- Fee registration 0,6% until 5milliards of CFA of authorized capital

(0,2% for more than 5 billion FCFA)

- For SA: recording of the statement of AG and CA: 6000 FCFA
Six original specimens of the recorded statutes

3 - Deposit of the statutes at the clerk's office of the court.

Graft Court of Abidjan. basement of the Law courts, carries 10

2 specimens of the beforehand recorded statutes

Receipt of deposit

4 - Registration with the register commercial and loan on personal property.

Graft Court Of Abidjan or court of the seat of the company

- 5 forms of inscription to the register available to the single counter

1000 FCFA play of the 5 printed ones.

10.000FCFA the inscription with the register.

2 forms carrying the date and the serial number to the register commercial

5 - Publication of the opinion of creation and registration to the register of trade and loan on personal property.

Official Journal
Fraternity morning
Typed summary of the statutes in two specimens (opinion)

6000 FCFA per line

Imm. CCIA 15ème étage, BP V 65 ABIDJAN
Tel :(225) 20 21 30 89 / 20 21 30 88 / 90
Fax : (225) 20 21 64 74
Responsable: Mme Amah Marie TEHOUA (Ministre)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Cote d'Ivoire Olympic committee arranged a pentathlon yesterday in which I participated and stood third in the over 40 age group. I felt real good when I know I suffered a massive heart attack only a few years ago and could run in a national level tournament with a good standing! Allah is great!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

website hit counter web page
Download a free website hit counter here.
website hit counter web page
Download a free website hit counter here.