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- GDP (PPP):
- $40.3 billion
- 9.8% growth
- 2.6% 5-year compound annual growth
- $1,727 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Côte d’Ivoire’s economic freedom score is 57.7, making its economy the 107th freest in the 2014 Index. Its score is 3.6 points better than last year, with improvements in all of the 10 economic freedoms except for financial freedom. Registering one of the 10 biggest score increases of the year, Côte d’Ivoire has advanced to 16th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is now slightly above the regional average.
Over the 20-year history of the Index, Côte d’Ivoire’s economic freedom has grown only modestly. The country has recorded notable advancements in trade freedom and fiscal freedom, the scores for which have improved by 20 points or more. However, those gains have been largely offset by substantial score declines in the area of the rule of law measured by property rights and freedom from corruption. Business freedom has also declined.
Côte d’Ivoire continues to be ranked as one of the “mostly unfree” economies in the Index. The overall business and investment climate, hampered by political instability and regulatory inefficiency, remains unfavorable to private investment, retarding much-needed economic growth.
In 2002, civil war split Côte d’Ivoire between a rebel-controlled North and a government-controlled South. Laurent Gbagbo, ousted from the presidency in April 2011 by French-backed forces, is currently jailed in The Hague, charged with four counts of crimes against humanity for his role in presidential election violence in 2010. Current President Alassane Ouattara gained a parliamentary majority in elections held in December 2011. In June 2012, militias and supporters of ex-President Gbagbo were caught in an attempt to overthrow the government. The largely market-based economy relies heavily on cash-crop agriculture and is highly sensitive to international prices for coffee and palm oil, its top revenue earners. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have provided $4.4 billion in debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
While the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, they frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Tender offers are irregularly publicized. Contract terms are not transparent, and bribes are regularly solicited. Protection of property rights is fragile. Despite the pervasiveness of corruption, the government appears to be making some progress in putting in place mechanisms to address the challenges.
The individual income tax rate is 36 percent, and the corporate tax rate is 25 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and a tax on interest. The overall tax burden is just over 13 percent of GDP. Government expenditures are around 26 percent of GDP. The Paris Club of rich nations has agreed to cancel nearly all of Côte d’Ivoire’s outstanding debt by 2014.
The process for establishing a company is now more streamlined, but paid-in minimum capital required to launch a business equals almost twice the level of average annual income. The formal labor market is not fully developed, and cumbersome labor codes hinder job growth. Although the government regulates many prices, it recently abandoned price setting for cocoa and will allow its price to fluctuate in response to world market conditions.
The average tariff rate for Côte d’Ivoire is 6.8 percent. The government screens investment from outside the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union, and foreign investors may find it difficult to enforce contracts. The financial sector remains vulnerable to government influence. The state owns or holds shares in several domestic financial institutions and continues to influence the allocation of credit.