Strong and vibrant West African economy
The Ivory Coast is a large economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). It is the world’s top exporter of cocoa beans, raw cashew nuts and a net exporter of oil. Significant reforms are being implemented to broaden and strengthen the manufacturing sector and attract investment.
An appetite for working with the UK
The Ivory Coast and the UK signed an Economic Partnership Agreement in 2020 with the aim of maintaining and improving trade and economic relationships. Officials and businesses are keen to work with non-traditional business partners. Many who have collaborated with British businesses appreciate the benefits of British expertise, due diligence, technology, and a winning partnership.
Top five UK goods exported to Ivory Coast (The Republic of Côte D’Ivoire) , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023
|Goods||Value (£ million )|
|Miscellaneous metal manufactures||66.0|
|General industrial machinery (intermediate)||22.2|
|Scientific instruments (capital)||10.4|
Total import value (into the UK from Ivory Coast (The Republic of Côte D’Ivoire)) and export value (from the UK into Ivory Coast (The Republic of Côte D’Ivoire)) over time
|Year||Imports (£ million )||Exports (£ million )||Total trade (£ million )|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
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Ivory Coast (The Republic of Côte D’Ivoire): at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
The Ivory Coast is looking to industrialise and transform its economy to become an emerging country. To achieve this the government has made a number of reforms in various sectors to attract more investment. There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Ivory Coast have identified opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Demand for UK expertise and know-how
UK expertise is in demand to help deliver Ivory Coast’s development strategy. There is demand for expertise in agri-technology, techniques to increase land productivity and value-added processing, with a focus on key sectors like cocoa, coffee, cashew, cotton, shea nuts, export fruits (bananas, pineapples, and mango's), rubber and palm oil.
To promote the development of local transformation, the Ivory Coast has reformed its Investment Code and has set up facilitation measures for priority sectors. Whether it be cotton, cashew or cocoa, British businesses can be confident to find an accommodating environment and the required support.
Demand for UK expertise and innovation
UK businesses can provide innovative solutions to help Ivory Coast meet its objectives. In addition to seeking quality work, the government is interested in the technical support and skills transfer that UK businesses can offer. For example, British company NMS Infrastructure (NMSI) recently signed a €326 million contract to build 6 hospitals throughout the country.
Access to financing
Infrastructure investors have recently shown a strong interest for projects in Ivory Coast. As a result, there is a wide range of available financial instruments that UK businesses could have access to, while delivering a project in the country. Investors such as CDC, PIDG and Actis have expressed an increasing appetite for the country.
An accessible market
The Ivory Coast is the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to leverage the use of independent power producers for its electricity generation. This allows an easy access to the market to foreign companies. UK businesses have been involved in the energy sector in the country for decades and contribute to 30% of the existing electricity production capacity.
Opportunities in renewable energy
The Ivory Coast has ambitions to achieve 42% of its energy mix from renewable energy sources (including hydro-power) by 2030. Opportunities include wind, solar PV and solar home systems (including design, engineering and construction); biomass power plant, recycling and energy from waste; grid optimisation, electrical networks and metering.
Opportunities in oil and gas
The government is looking for assistance in the prospection and exploration of oil and gas reserves. In July 2021, major offshore oil and natural reserves were discovered, with estimation of 1.5 to 2 billion barrels of oil and 51 million cubic metres of gas. The government revised the oil code in 2015 to attract new investors through production sharing contracts. The country has 51 identified fields, of which 4 are producing, 26 are in exploration and 21 are still free or under negotiation.
Attractive mining code
The government has one of the most attractive mining codes in the world, aimed at encouraging foreign investment in the sector.
Successful mineral diversification will require additional transport networks in Ivory Coast. Plans for a more robust regional rail network linking Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Benin promises opportunities for UK expertise. The expansion of Abidjan and San Pedro’s ports and the creation of new power plants also provide a wide range of opportunities.