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Doing Business in Côte d’Ivoire

Within the past few years, the Trade Council in Ghana has seen an increasing interest from Danish companies in doing business in Côte d’Ivoire. However, doing business in Côte d’Ivoire can at times prove to be different from doing business in Denmark. Below we provide some useful information about the business climate in Côte d’Ivoire.

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Business Climate

Côte d’Ivoire’s macroeconomic performance and general business climate has improved remarkably over the past two years. The country has improved its ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list from 158 in 2014 to 147 in 2015 (out of 189 economies). This positive development stems from the implementation of several reforms allowing for a sharp improvement of the business environment. Among other things, Côte d’Ivoire made starting a business easier by reducing the minimum capital requirement, lowering registration fees and enabling the one-stop shop to publish notices of incorporation. Côte d’Ivoire ranks 6th among West African countries.

Cote d’Ivoire has an investment promotion center, CEPICI (Centre des Promotions des Investissments en Cote d’Ivoire), which provides investment information and assistance for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business in Cote d’Ivoire. 


Incidents of political violence have gradually decreased since President Ouattara assumed office in May 2011, but some political tensions still persist with violent attacks occurring occasionally on the Liberian border. Furthermore, there is an underlying threat from terrorism and retaliatory attacks in Côte d’Ivoire due to its participation in the 2012 intervention in Mali. That being said, most people find little trouble in coming to Côte d’Ivoire to explore business opportunities, and the commercial centre Abidjan is relatively safe compared to other big cities in Africa.

Punctuality and Ivorian Mood

Time-consciousness and punctuality have another saying in Africa than in Denmark, and Côte d’Ivoire is no exception. Danish companies must therefore accept that things do not always come around in the same pace as in Denmark or other foreign markets. Time plans feasible under Danish standards risk not being realistic in Côte d'Ivoire.  


Bureaucratic corruption in Côte d’Ivoire worsened drastically due to the political instability and armed conflict following the 2002 coup. Although the situation has improved over the past couple of years, Côte d’Ivoire continues to rank rather poorly in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) compared to its neighbours in West Africa. With a score of 32 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), Côte d’Ivoire ranked 8th among West African countries in 2014.


French is the official language in Côte d’Ivoire and the use of English language is limited. A basic knowledge of French can therefore prove to be essential when conducting business and travelling in Côte d’Ivoire.

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Contact us:

Søren Robenhagen

Commercial Attaché



Linda Kafui Abbah-Foli
Commercial Adviser


Celina Schmidt-Petersen

Trade & Investment Trainee