Time in Benin:

Coat of Arms

 Fraternité, Justice, Travail

"Brotherhood, Justice, Work"

Tourism Sites

6367333-POSTAGE_PRICES_Cotonou.jpg

Business & Economy

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $12.1 billion; per capita $1,500. Real growth rate: 4.2%. Inflation: 2%. Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 25.53%. Agriculture: cotton, corn, cassava (tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts; livestock. Labor force: n.a. Industries: textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement. Natural resources: small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber. Exports: $826.9 million f.o.b. ( 2005 est.): cotton, crude oil, palm products, cocoa. Imports: $1.043 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products. Major trading partners: China, India, Ghana, Niger, Indonesia, Nigeria, France, Thailand, Cote d'Ivoire (2004).

 

Industry accounts for only a small percentage of the gross domestic product. Fishing industry meets only local consumption, so does textile industry. Palm processing facility needs improving; a sugar complex and a cement factory are jointly owned with Negeria. Breweries, soap unit... meet only local demand. Possotome village is, however, known for its internationally recognized mineral water.

 

Apart from limestone found in open quarry at ONIGBOLO, deposits of gold, phosphates, iron ore, marble, clay... are yet to be explored. The development of off- shore fields at SEME and elsewhere are underway. A Benin/Togo hydroelectric power has just been completed on the Mono river (the NANGBETO dam). There are attractive industrial projects and feasibility studies are available for some of them. The Beninese code of investment has been reviewed to insert, among other things, more incentives for investors. Benin is the natural gateway to Togo and Nigeria and to such landlocked countries as Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.

 

TRANSPORTATION

The geographic setting of Benin serves to integrate the region and provides direct access to the bordering states by water, rail, airlines and railways.

 

5-seaters ply between Cotonou and Lome, Cotonou and Lagos to name the nearest other capital cities while buses and lorries are available for such long distance trips as Cotonou-Parakou, Parakou-Kandi, Parakou-Malanville, Parakou- Djougou .

 

  • Roads: 8,000 kilometers will 1,000 km or bitumenized roads
  • Railways: 570 kilometers in joint venture with the Republic of NIGER.
  • Airport: Main airport is in Cotonou with many foreign air companies.
  • Port: International harbor with modern facilities in Cotonou.
  • Telecommunications: Infrastructures are performing more than 6,000 lines with direct contact with the external world.
  • There is a full range of postal services in most towns and localities. Telex and Fax facilities are available in Cotonou.

BANKS, WORKING TIME, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Banks

  1. Central Bank of West Africa P.O. Box 325 Cotonou
  2. Bank of Africa
  3. Financial Bank
  4. International Bank of Benin (B.I.B.E)

MONETARY UNIT

Benin is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) which characterized by the recognition of a common monetary unit, the Franc of the African Financial Community (CFA F), which is issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). UEMOA currently comprises: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guniea Bissau, Cote d’Ivore, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo

 

The currency is the CFA franc divided into 100 centimes; the parity with the French franc is fixed:

  • 1 FF = 50 CFA francs.
  • 1 USD= 481.250 CFA francs
  • 1 EUR= 655.957 CFA francs