Doing Business in Gabon
Doing Business in Gabon
President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov two years ago, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Gabon. In this section, you will find a quick description of Gabon as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.
1. Visit the export.gov page on Gabon to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. Access the U.S. Commercial Service’s Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by specialists working in overseas posts.
The Library Includes:
- Country Commercial Guides (read latest “Doing Business In” guides)
- Industry Overviews
- Market Updates
- Multilateral Development Bank Reports
- Best Markets
- Industry/Regional Reports
3. Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. SBDCs are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities, administered by the Small Business Administration, and aim to give educational services to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
4. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Libreville for more information or to set-up a briefing when you visit.
Investing in Gabon
Potential investors: Getting Started.
The U.S. Embassy in Libreville encourages U.S. investors to consider investing in Gabon. There are many opportunities here for U.S. firms. If you are considering investment in Gabon, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy: If you are planning a visit to explore investment opportunities, let us know by sending an email to Libreville_Commercial@state.gov.
- Explore host country resources: Visit sites such as http://www.presidentalibongo.com/en and http://gabonembassyusa.com/
- Contact local U.S. businesses operating in Gabon. The U.S. Embassy can provide you with a list.
Current Investors: Staying Connected.
If you are a current U.S. investor in Gabon, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:
- Register with the U.S. Embassy: If you are active in Gabon, let us know by sending an email to Libreville_Commercial@state.gov.
- Add us to your mailing lists: We are always happy to stay informed.
- Set up a meeting with our Economic/Commercial Office to discuss any issues that arise.
Embassy Phone: +241 01-76-20-03/04
Embassy Fax: +241 01-76-55-07
Economic /Commercial Officer: Mark Hitchcock
Economic /Commercial Assistant: Cedric Pehoua
Working in Gabon
For information on obtaining a visa to visit Gabon visit the website of the Gabonese Embassy in Washington, DC: http://gabonembassyusa.com/ or contact them directly:1630 Connecticut Avenue, NW - 7th Floor Washington, D.C. 20009 Tel: +1 202-797-1000 Fax: +1 202-332-0668
Please note that all travelers to Gabon must have a visa before entry.
Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory for Gabon at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving, or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.fcpa.us/
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.
More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pdf
Services for U.S. Companies Provided by U.S. Embassy in Libreville
In Gabon, commercial matters are handled by the Political/Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy (U.S. Department of State) in coordination with the regional Commercial Service Office in Johannesburg, South Africa (Department of Commerce). U.S. businesses and investors may schedule a briefing on economic and political conditions as well as the current business climate in Gabon with our Political/Economic staff at the U.S. Embassy in Libreville. Please contact us at Librevilleeconomic@state.gov to schedule an appointment.
The U.S. Embassy offers a range of services to help U.S. companies do business in Gabon. These services are provided on a case by case basis based on current Embassy staffing and resource levels. For a complete list of services and more detailed information regarding commercial services to help U.S. companies do business in Gabon, please refer to the following websites: