India's Overseas Markets

Ivory Coast

Population (2019): 25,716,544

GDP (2019): US$58.54 billion

World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2019): 110

Bilateral Trade (2019-20): US$ 869.55 million

Why Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d’Ivoire, is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Its economy has grown at an average growth rate of 8% during 2012 to 2018. During 2019, the country’s growth rate was 6.23%.

Ivory Coast is currently the largest member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). It aims to be the trading hub in West Africa and the gateway to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The government has also put in place ambitious plans to stimulate and enhance private investment to achieve emerging market status. The government’s National Development Plan (NDP) aimed to transform Ivory Coast into a middle-income economy by 2020.

Political stabilization

Ivory Coast has seen improved political environment and relative stability since the end of a long civil conflict in 2011. Current President Alassane Ouattara has focused on economic growth, driven by foreign investments, to normalise the political situation. He also revamped the nation’s agriculture and housing industries – which have played a part in bringing stability to the country. The completion of relatively peaceful presidential elections in 2015 and parliamentary elections in 2016 are testament to Ivory Coast’s increased ability to manage its political process. In addition, the departure of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in June 2017 signifies the progress that the country has made in establishing peace and stability.

Improving infrastructure

Ivory Coast is embarking on massive upgrading of its infrastructure, with significant investments from public and private sectors. The government plans to spend more than US$ 7 billion on infrastructure projects between 2018 and 2023. “We want to be an emerging country but to achieve that, we will need high-quality infrastructure to support the economy,” states Amede Koffi Kouakou, Minister of Economic Infrastructure. Kouakou explains work must be done to fix the roads damaged by floods. A train network and bridges to Abidjan are other investments currently underway. The roads are in poor condition. However, an infrastructure boom is a sign that the country is prepared to become an emerging economy.

Profiled Industries


The agriculture sector accounts for 25% of Ivory Coast’s GDP and employs two-thirds of the population. The country is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of cocoa beans and cashews1 and is also a significant producer of cash crops including rubber, palm oil, bananas, cotton and coffee.

Agricultural land has increased by more than 16% since 1991, which has given the country a strong position in the national, regional and international markets. The launch of the National Agricultural Investment Programme (PNIA), which covered the 2012 – 2016 period, saw approximately US$3.2 billion allocated to boost investments and increase agricultural production. Cash crops have grown from 4.9 billion tonnes in 2012 to more than 5.9 billion tonnes in 2015.

The government has announced the second phase of PNIA – which will be based on the establishment of agro-industrial zones or agropoles. Two pillars have been identified:

Upstream: Put in place all the agricultural infrastructure that improves productivity.

Downstream: Facilitate a network of private partners for the conservation, processing and marketing of agricultural products. In this agro-polar system, other basic social services such as water, electricity, education and even infocommunications technology and finance are taken into account2.

Ivory Coast is also one of the first agricultural countries that have started to implement an e-agriculture strategy. It was planned to implement a harmonised e-platform that gives access to information, services and training for the sector especially in rural areas.

Real Estate & Infrastructure

Reforms in property registration, governmental development programmes and efforts to improve the business environment are creating opportunities for housing finance and housing development sectors. Although the government’s effort in improving the business environment and sourcing foreign direct investment (FDI) to develop urban infrastructure and housing is paying off, there is still a need to innovate housing finance to bridge the gap between demand and supply of adequate and affordable houses.

Providing decent, affordable housing has become a key legislative component of Ivory Coast’s government, especially the need to strengthen the financing options for home buyers and real estate developers. The government has prioritised housing development through supporting real estate projects, and providing insurance for mortgage loans issued by banks. The country has the lowest mortgage interest rate (5.5%) in the region – as compared to other countries in West Africa that can go up to four times more.

Power & Electricity

Two-thirds of national electricity is produced by thermal power stations and 25% is generated by hydropower plants. Ivory Coast is a net exporter of electricity to neighbouring countries in the West African Power Pool (WAPP). The country has an extensive electricity network, moderate electricity prices and a reliable service. It was one of the first countries in SSA to privatise its electricity sector and to introduce independent power producers (IPPs), already in the 1980s.

Today, IPPs play a leading role in electricity generation based on a regulatory framework that defines how Ivory Coast regulates its independent producers. The cascading structure positions IPPs as first in line in payment orders. As part of National Development Plan 2016-20, Ivory Coast has set a goal of making the country an energy hub in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing quality, cheap and abundant energy to national and sub-regional populations.

In response to high economic growth, the country needs an average of 150MW of additional production capacity per year in the system in order to meet the increasing demand. Ivory Coast plans to invest US$20 billion over the next 15 years, and expects to increase its current capacity of 1,800MW to 4,000MW in 2020 by using gas and hydroelectric power. With the government still counting on private partners to increase national capacity, India companies in related industries can find abundant opportunities in this sector.

India imports cashew, manganese ore, cotton, wood, scrap metals, rubber, etc. CI is the largest exporter of cashew in the world and India imports a big chunk of Ivorian cashew. The main items of India’s export are rice, pharmaceutical products, Automobiles, machinery, chemicals, plastics and rubber.

Indian Investment in Cote d’Ivoire:

Indian investments FDI into Cote d’Ivoire (1 January to end November 2018) stood at USD 5.6 million representing 0.9% of total FDI inflow into the country. Many Indian pharmaceutical companies have their operations in Cote d’Ivoire. Few Indian companies have set up manufacturing & assembling facilities while few companies have invested in mining sector. There are a large number of Indian companies – small and medium size – involved in trading commodities. . Embassy in Abidjan organized a highly successful India-Cote d’Ivoire Business Forum in December 2018 with an objective to enhance bilateral Trade & Investments.

Projects Exports:

Bilateral ties have been strengthened by the expanding South-South Cooperation between the two countries. India extended a grant of US$ 790,000/- for establishment of the Centre for Demonstration and Promotion of Technologies (CDT) in Abidjan in 2007-10. Tata Automobiles has a presence in Cote d’Ivoire and supplied 500 buses to Abidjan Transport Authority under India’s Buyers Credit of USD 78 million USD. Ashok Leyland opened its regional office in December 2017 in Abidjan and is executing a project under India’s Buyers Credit of USD 199 million with Fund for Development of Transport Routes (FDTR), an organization under the Ivorian Ministry of Transport.

Capacity Building and Human Resource Development:

India has been providing training slots to Cote d’Ivoire under ITEC Programme, 80 in the year 2016-17 which has been enhanced to 100 slots. ICCR also extended 11 paid scholarships to Ivorian to pursue undergraduate and post graduate studies in India. Apart from this, several Ivorian students have also undergone training courses under the IAFS mechanism. Under the PAN African e-Network Project of IAFS many Ivorian students have pursued higher studies through distant learning faculties at the University of Cocody. A tele-medical consultation facility with prominent hospitals in India has been established at Yopougon Hospital in Abidjan. GOI has offered the service of the upgraded programme of e-VBAB. India is also an important learning center for Ivorian students, particularly for ICT studies besides Commerce and Management degrees.

Cereals, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, machines, sugar, plastics, mineral fuels, etc.

HS Code Product label India’s exports to Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 (Value in US$ million)
10 Cereals 120.469
30 Pharmaceutical products 44.479
84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers; parts thereof 42.898
87 Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof 35.219
17 Sugars and sugar confectionery 26.295
38 Miscellaneous chemical products 19.91
63 Other made-up textile articles; sets; worn clothing and worn textile articles; rags 16.683
39 Plastics and articles thereof 11.955
27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral 10.776
85 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television 10.748

The products with greatest export potential from India to Côte d’Ivoire are Semi-milled or wholly milled rice, Broken rice, and Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides & similar. Semi-milled or wholly milled rice shows the largest absolute difference between potential and actual exports in value terms, leaving room to realize additional exports worth US$ 224.9 million.

Product code Description Export potential
100630 Semi-milled or wholly milled rice US$ 224.9 million
100640 Broken rice US$ 39.4 million
3808 Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides & similar US$ 21.1 million

Sacks & bags of jute & bast fibres for packing

US$ 8.5 million
0303Xa Fish nes, whole, frozen US$ 19.8 million

Fruits, pearls, rubber, ores, cotton, wood, machinery.

HS Code Product label India’s imports from Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 (Value in US$ million)
8 Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons 169.16
52 Cotton 82.08
27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral 77.63
71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad 63.44
40 Rubber and articles thereof 36.55
26 Ores, slag and ash 27.58
18 Cocoa and cocoa preparations 12.10
85 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television 10.23
9 Coffee, tea, maté and spices 9.16
44 Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal 7.71

Fruits, pearls, rubber, ores, cocoa, cotton, wood, electrical machinery, aluminium & lead articles.

Riviera IV Golf, Ilot No.2, Lot No. 29, BP 318, Abidjan 06.

Tel: (225) 2247 9580 /  2247 9581 /  2247 9589

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