A memorandum of understanding was signed on March 2, 2020 in Washington between the Congolese National Investment Promotion Agency (ANAPI) and the United States - Africa Business Center of the American Chamber of Commerce (USAfBC). This agreement establishes the principles and the basis for increased cooperation between ANAPI and the American Chamber of Commerce with a view to improving the business environment between the two organizations, and aims especially at strengthening the economic business ties between Congolese and American entrepreneurs at the level of the private sector of both countries.
Believing that economic growth driven by exports and resulting from increased investment is the key to job creation and poverty reduction, ANAPI and the American Chamber of Commerce have notably committed to: (i) work together to coordinate their policy, defense and business promotion activities, in particular on specific trade and investment opportunities between the United States and the DRC; (ii) support measures aimed at improving the investment environment for American companies doing business in the DRC and DRC companies doing business in the United States; (iii) raise awareness of investment opportunities by supporting trade and investment missions between the United States and the DRC, as well as information on investment and business opportunities and a forum to eliminate barriers to business development in the interest of both countries.
Launch of the “DRC Economic Guide”
On the sidelines of the signing ceremony of this Memorandum of Understanding, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, His Excellency Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, officially launched the "Economic Guide to the DRC", an informational support on investment opportunities in DRC, under the watchful eye of the Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mr. Tybor Nagy, officials of the American Chamber of Commerce and ANAPI, as well as several economic operators from two countries gathered in a Round Table to discuss the future of bilateral economic relations.
This economic guide provides information on various sectors other than mining, for which the DRC is already internationally renowned. Prospects in agriculture, energy, infrastructure, tourism, education and health are all concrete investment opportunities in the 26 provinces of the country.
"With this guide, we are launching the baby steps that build American businesses by placing a framework in which we can practice in the DRC," said Anthony Nkinzo. The Managing Director of ANAPI even announced reflections on the creation of an "advanced economic one-stop shop for American investors as a
Revival of growth and the challenge of diversification
The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich in natural resources, in strategic minerals, and owns half of the forests and waterways of Africa. These resources, along with the other unique characteristics of the country, offer significant investment opportunities. The DRC has embarked on a number of reforms, including liberalizing the energy sector, establishing a one-stop shop for investors and streamlining the tax system. These reforms, other commitments made to multilateral institutions, as well as the government’s desire to improve the business climate, are all signs that the country is ready to attract foreign direct investment.
However, the Congolese economy remains dominated mainly by the primary sector. And although the economic performances achieved by the country for almost five years indicate a revival of vitality in the mining sector, this one does not however contribute in a significant way to the creation of the national wealth. This is how the government of the Republic, under the leadership of His Excellency Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, Head of State, does not intend to rely solely on the exceptional reserves of raw materials in the country and has adopted a National Strategic Development Plan (PNSD). This plan focuses on a certain number of sectors, among others: education, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, industry, telecommunications, insurance, etc., which should contribute to diversification and the resilience of the Congolese economy, the main guarantee of security against exogenous shocks.
ANAPI and USAfBC plan to work together on policy, advocacy and business promotion efforts. By collaborating more closely, the two organizations hope to increasingly strengthen trade and investment relations between the DRC and the United States, by creating a permanent dialogue between American and Congolese economic operators, giving them an overview of what it takes to grow and compete in the global economy. This interaction will also allow American companies to support the economic diversification program of the DRC through skills development and technology transfer.
“We will work to identify the areas of action and the areas of intervention to deepen in the context of collaboration with ANAPI to allow American investors to understand the Congolese market and to identify the DRC as a preferred destination for do the business, ”said Guevera Yao, USAfBC Director for Central, North and West Africa.