Fabian Demicoli

Congo – Fertile investment prospects for businesses

GRTU CEO Abigail Psaila Mamo has this week met Mr Jerome Ompen, Candidate for Honorary Consul for Malta in the Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. During the meeting the business opportunities for Maltese and Congolese businesses were discussed and the prospects are indeed very interesting.

Overview

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa that borders with 9 other countries. It borders the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. It has a population of over 75 million. The

 language spoken is French however English is widely used for business. Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has a population of 11 million. 

Business Environment

Mr Ompen described the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a safe place to do business, especially sine 3 to 4 years ago, and where the Government has launched a new policy to protect business and a number of tax incentives and PPP possibilities to attract foreign investment. The Democratic Republic of Congo is also a member of the World Trade Organisation and benefits from duty-free, quota-free EU access under the EU’s “Everything but Arms” scheme.

Opening a business is easy and on the same level for foreigners as for Congolese. In Kinshasa businesses will also find a good banking set up with a number of European banks.

Connectivity

Kinshasa has daily flights going directly from France and visas are obtained by applying through the Embassy in Rome. The Consulate is also able to facilitate the Visa process.

 

1.  Agriculture:

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a strong agricultural sector and specialises in a number of specific products that it would like to offer for export. Congo is strongest when it comes to coffee and cocoa production predominantly as well as maize, tea and bananas. It can also export very good and effective pest control solutions. Apart from this there is a vast amount of land that can be invested for agricultural purposes as well as partnerships in agriculture such as investments in the production of peanut, peanut oil and palm oil. There is an agricultural cooperative one can deal with directly and the Climate is tropical.

 

2.  Infrastructure

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is not very developed when it comes to infrastructure and facilities and this is an area where the Government is seeking to attract a lot of investment and would consider Public Private Partnerships. They need to build schools, hospitals, recreational family facilities, water dams to produce energy, a public transport system, investment in aviation and internal flights.

 

 3.  Tourism

Tourism is currently mostly limited to business mainly. 40% of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is covered in forest and there is a lot of potential to arrange parts of it as a park for tourists to enjoy and organise safari tours as well as excursions for back packers. Hotels are very expensive and of low quality because they are very few. There is a lot of potential to build hotels.

 

4.  Exporting goods to Congo

Congolese drive cars that are both left hand and right hand drive and there is a market to supply spare parts for vehicles as well as the car hire market. Many today own a vehicle and are seeking to become insured, which provides an opportunity to service providers. Goods imported into Congo are generally low quality and the Congolese would like to see better products on the market, even at higher prices. The Chinese and Indians are currently dominating the market and they would like better quality when it comes to medicine and clothing.

 

Further information can be found on the following website:  http://www.pagewebcongo.com/index_en.html

Anyone interested can send an email on

 

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