About the Republic of Djibouti
Djibouti’s spectacular strategic location is its main economic asset. The large, well equipped Port of Djibouti, managed since 2000 by Dubai Ports World, straddles the juncture of sea routes between the Far East, the Arabo- Persian Gulf, Africa, Europe, and the East Coast of the United States.
It serves as a gateway to internal African markets. Transshipment is growing, and currently accounts for approximately 20% of port business. The new Doraleh Port project is expected to quadruple revenues and significantly benefit Djibouti’s economy. Services provided by Djibouti’s port, airport, financial institutions, and related sectors account for more than 80% of GDP. In recent years, intensive port activities, improved management, financial aid from the United States and France, and, especially, Foreign Direct Investment have significantly improved Djibouti’s economy.
In 2003 these improvements resulted in the first positive real growth (3.5%) in more than a decade. This positive trend has continued, and real growth was estimated at 5.9% for 2008. Inflation is relatively moderate, averaging 4.5 percent between 2005 and 2007.
Djibouti has moderate tax rates. The top income tax rate is 30 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 25 percent. Other taxes include a property tax and an excise tax. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 20 percent.
Djibouti’s financial sector has been growing as more banks, particularly foreign banks, have entered the market. One majority French-owned bank and one fully French-owned bank together account for 95 percent of deposits and 85 percent of credit. The government retains a minority stake in Banque pour le Commerce et l’Industrie-Mer Rouge, the country’s largest commercial bank. The government has made efforts to promote the integrity and efficiency of the banking sector and adopted new banking laws in 2000.
Djibouti has pursued a moderate foreign policy. Djibouti’s population is estimated at more than 890,000. French and Somali are the main languages used in government, business and daily activities. English is becoming more widely spoken due to increased American presence and more English-speaking foreign investors.
Djibout Chamber of Commerce
Place de LaGuarde
PO Box 84
President: Rifki Abou Dulkader
Export Promotion Board