According to UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2022, FDI inflows into Gabon decreased from USD 1.7 billion to USD 1.6 billion between 2020 and 2021. The FDI stock was estimated at USD 15.6 billion in 2021. According to UNCTAD’s Investment Trends Monitor, global FDI momentum weakened in 2022 in the context of the war in Ukraine, rising food and energy prices, financial turmoil and debt pressures. Historically, the mining, oil and gas, and wood sectors have attracted the most investment in Gabon, but foreign investment is promoted across a range of sectors, including infrastructure and ecotourism. In addition to the Singaporean Olam group, China is increasingly present in the country, as illustrated by the recent EUR 180 million investment of Chinese energy firm TBEA in a hydropower project, and the USD 50-100 million progressive investment by Jiangsu Wanlin Modern Logistics Co. in the construction of a high-quality furniture factory in Libreville. According to IMF data, Gabon’s main investors are Mauritius, India, the USA, China, Morocco, the Netherlands, Italy and France.
The government is actively trying to attract FDI. Its development strategy (Plan Stratégique Gabon Emergent – PSGE) aims at developing Gabon into an emerging economy by 2025 by diversifying the country and transforming Gabon into an internationally competitive investment destination. The plan calls for increased public and private investment, modernised infrastructure and improved human capital. Recently, the public-private partnership (PPP) agricultural programme (GRAINE) was launched, providing new oil palm plantations and the development of food crops. Changes in hydrocarbon legislation should also help to accelerate private investment flows. Gabon is the 4th oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, Africa’s 2nd largest producer of wood and the 2nd producer of manganese in the world. It has special economic zones where companies have tax advantages, preferential customs duties and simplified customs procedures. The country also enjoys a relatively high purchasing power compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries. However, limited market potential, bureaucracy, weak contract enforcement, an unskilled and expensive workforce, as well as poor infrastructure all constitute barriers to FDI inflows.
|Foreign Direct Investment||2020||2021||2022|
|FDI Inward Flow (million USD)||1,717||1,529||1,105|
|FDI Stock (million USD)||13,957||15,486||16,591|
|Number of Greenfield Investments*||5||5||2|
|Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD)||2,479||2,120||209|
Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data.
Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.
Among the factors that make Gabon an attractive destination for FDIs, there are:
Several factors still hinder Gabon’s FDI inflows:
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Latest Update: September 2023