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Gabon Trade and Project Financing

Discuss trade with Gabon: import licensing & documentation, investment barriers, labeling requirements, and prohibited imports.

Gabon Trade and Project Financing

Postby bridgat » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:27 am

A - Brief Description of Banking System

Gabon is a member of the French franc zone, via the Central Bank
of Central African States (BEAC), which has its head-quarters in
Yaounde. The parity of the regional currency, the CFA franc, is
tied to the French franc and backed by the Treasury of France.
The CFA franc for the 6 countries of the Central Zone circulates
freely and may be freely converted to other currencies through
the banking system upon presentation of commercial documentation.
Similar arrangements are in effect for the West African franc
zone, which has its own Central Bank (BCEAO).

BEAC issues the currency and controls liquidity within the zone
through rediscounting facilities and an administered money
market. The interest rate structure is common to all member
countries of the zone.

B - Foreign Exchange Control Affecting Trading

For all commercial transactions inside or outside the franc zone
an import license must be presented for all imports exceeding a
value of 500,000 CFA francs (about USD 833).

Funds not exceeding 5 million CFA francs (USD 8,333) can be
freely transferred to France or within the franc zone. A
justification must be presented for all transfers exceeding this
amount. Neither of the regional central banks (BEAC and BCEAO)
will honor or redeem its currency outside its own zone.

Private transfers to points outside the franc zone are subject to
further documentation required by the Ministry of Finance.

C - General Financing Availability

Credit is provided through the five main commercial banks in
- The Banque International de Commerce de d'Industrie du Gabon
(BICIG), a branch of BNP France

- Union Gabonaise de Banque (UGB), a branch of Credit Lyonnais

- The Banque Gabonaise et Fran++aise Internationale, (BGFI),
formerly Banque Paribas

- Citibank

- The French Intercontinental Bank (FIBA)

In addition to the commercial banks, there are:

- The Credit Foncier du Gabon (CREFOGA) for housing

- The Gabonese Development Bank (BDG)

- The Fund for Development and Expansion (FODEX), a parastatal
organization funded by the African Development Bank intended to
provide financing for small and medium-sized firms (PME) owned by
Gabonese nationals

- The Banque Gabonaise de Credit Rural, which offers loans for

D - How To Finance Exports/Methods Of Payment:

Payment is usually made by irrevocable letters of credit.
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