Investing in Benin: An increasingly favourable business environment
To achieve the objectives of the “Revealing Benin” programme, the government launched around 50 reforms over 18 months to improve the business environment. Some of these are true flagship measures, such as the public procurement law reform, the vote for a clearer framework for PPPs, a new advantageous legal framework for special economic zones, making the labour market more flexible and a new digital code that will lay the foundations of the economy of tomorrow.
Other short-term goals include rethinking the investment code and improving budget transparency.
Reducing the time it takes to start a business
Over the past few years, Benin has implemented major reforms to improve economic competitiveness, which led to the country being ranked among the top ten reformers in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” reports in 2015 and 2016. In terms of the time it takes to set up a business, the country rose 60 places, going from 117th to 57th position, in the 2017 edition. In the 2018 edition, Benin climbed from 155th to 151st out of 190 in the rankings. The government is actively working to improve this ranking; for example, by making better access to justice, electricity and ICT in the country a priority.
The government has also directed its actions at revising regulations governing the setting up, operation and closure of businesses as well as improved access to industrial and rural land.
The Investment Code will be reformed and mechanisms that promote competition in key sectors of the economy will be put in place. Efforts are under way to establish commercial courts in the country and, in July 2016, an amendment to the law on judicial organisation in Benin was enacted.
Benin ranks 95th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index. This good ranking can be largely attributed to the reforms initiated by the government to strengthen the structures that oversee public finances and fight corruption. The government will continue to pursue these efforts
This artricle first appeared in our June 2018 Investing in Benin guide