INFORMATION NOTE
For use of information media - Not an official record
BENIN: UNCTAD develops tools to attract foreign direct investment and facilitate company registration

UNCTAD/PRESS/IN/2017/006
Genève, Switzerland, (09 May 2017)

​More than 100 representatives of Government, the private sector and development partners gathered in Cotonou to exchange on facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) and streamlining business registration in Benin, at a workshop on 28 April.

“The priority today is to mobilize financial resources through FDI”, said Mr. Is-Dine Bouraïma, Director General of the Investment and Export Promotion Agency (APIEx) in opening the workshop. “The dissemination of the Report on the implementation of the Investment Policy Review (IPR) among relevant stakeholders in the country as well as the official launch of the online window for company registration will help to strengthen Benin’s competitive position.”

The electronic window simplifies and streamlines administrative procedures for operating in Benin. Certificates of establishment are now released in less than 24 hours by APIEx through the online window. With this system Benin joins 31 countries with an electronic company registration window, as listed in UNCTAD’s Global Registration Index.

FDI flows to Benin are on the rise, having increased from an annual average of around $160 million in 2006-2010 to nearly $280 million in 2011-2015. They are unstable however, and the relative performance of the country is below average for the region and in comparison to other African least developed countries. In this context, the Government of Benin has sought UNCTAD’s help with a number of activities, including the Report on the implementation of the IPR and the creation of an electronic single window for company-registration.

The implementation report recognizes a number of reforms undertaken since publication of the IPR in 2005, in such areas as taxation and port infrastructure modernization. It highlights the need to complete the reform agenda in order to attract more FDI that might have a positive impact on development in Benin. It identifies several priority areas, including land issues and enhancing governance in the country. The report also recommends the establishment of a national investment policy and makes several other specific recommendations for improving the business climate.

These two areas of work received financial support from the Government of the Netherlands. Mr. Harry Van Dijk, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Benin, said that he was “convinced that the private sector can help drive development”.

Mr. Bouraïma was appreciative of the support given by the UNCTAD team; “they provided technical support not only in improving the Investment Code now under review in Benin, but also in capacity-building for APIEx staff”.

The day before the launch, UNCTAD experts delivered a training workshop on good practices in investment legislation and recent trends in investment promotion to more than 30 investment stakeholders from the government and private sector. The training took place in the context of Benin’s review of its Investment Code and the recent creation of APIEx — the product of a merger among several investment and export-promotion bodies. The launch and workshop rounded off a week of activities run by UNCTAD in Benin, which included a TrainForTrade training course.

To date UNCTAD has completed over 45 IPRs and published 13 implementation reports in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Reviews provide an objective evaluation of a country’s legal and institutional framework for investment, as well as recommendations on how to maximize the benefits from it.



For more information, please contact:
UNCTAD Communications and Information Unit
T: +41 22 917 5828
T: +41 79 502 43 11
E: unctadpress@unctad.org
Web: unctad.org/press

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