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- GDP (PPP):
- $43.8 billion
- 8.1% growth
- 3.7% 5-year compound annual growth
- $1,818 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Côte d’Ivoire’s economic freedom score is 58.5, making its economy the 103rd freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is 0.8 point higher than last year, reflecting improvements in half of the 10 economic freedoms, including business freedom, property rights, investment freedom, and freedom from corruption. Registering its highest score ever in the 2015 Index, Côte d’Ivoire has advanced to 14th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is now slightly above the regional average.
Over the past five years, economic freedom in Côte d’Ivoire has expanded by 3.1 points, led by 20-point gains in business and investment freedoms. The largely market-based economy has benefited in recent years from the international trade in coffee and palm oil.
However, the weak rule of law, affected by corruption and unclear property rights, still undermines the institutional environment necessary for sustained economic growth. Regulatory inefficiencies and insufficient investor protections have retarded the development of a more dynamic entrepreneurial environment.
In 2002, civil war split Côte d’Ivoire between a rebel-controlled North and a government-controlled South. Renewed violence flared in 2004 and 2010. In 2010, when Alassane Ouattara was internationally recognized as winner of the presidential election, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to hand over power and was removed by U.N. and French forces. Gbabgo is currently awaiting trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity that he allegedly committed during the post-election period. Political tensions have cooled under Ouattara’s leadership, but because of his poor health and the country’s upcoming elections in 2015, instability could return. The African Development Bank, after leaving the country 11 years ago for Tunisia due to unrest, has reopened its headquarters in Abidjan. Côte d’Ivoire is West Africa’s second-largest economy and a leading producer of cocoa and cashews.
Although the government has improved the investment climate, private and public corruption persists, especially with respect to judicial proceedings, contract awards, customs, and tax issues. Obtaining an official stamp, a copy of a birth or death certificate, or an automobile title often requires payment of a supplemental “commission.” Protection of property rights is fragile, and land titles are rare outside of urban areas.
Côte d’Ivoire’s top individual income tax rate is 36 percent, and its top corporate tax rate is 25 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax and a tax on interest. Total tax revenue amounts to 17.6 percent of domestic output, and public expenditures are equal to about 24.2 percent of domestic production. Public debt amounts to 43 percent of gross domestic product.
Considerable improvements have been made in streamlining the entrepreneurial framework. The time and number of procedures required to incorporate a business have been reduced. In the absence of well-functioning efficient labor markets, informal labor activity persists in many sectors. In 2013, the government abandoned a decade of sector liberalization to guarantee a minimum price for cocoa farmers, and it still regulates many other prices.
The average tariff rate is 6.8 percent. Côte d’Ivoire is a member of the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union. The government has announced plans to privatize many state-owned enterprises. Efforts to modernize and restructure the financial sector have been made. The banking penetration rate remains under 15 percent, but telephone banking has been growing. Access to loans, particularly short-term working capital, remains a challenge.