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Ocorian Forum reveals Côte d’Ivoire well placed to become future IFC

Ocorian Forum reveals Côte d’Ivoire well placed to become future IFC

The Abidjan edition of the Ocorian Forum was held on 9 April and attracted over a hundred prominent business figures to interact with a panel discussion with the theme of: Enhancing investor value – the role played by International Financial Centres.

Moderated by Joël Eric Missainhoun, Managing Partner and Executive Director of AfricSearch Abidjan office, the discussion brought together five panellists with expert knowledge of cross-border investment in Eastern Africa (pictured below from left to right):

Panel speakers

In her welcoming speech, Anjeelee Chinamal set the scene: “We were looking to be present in a hub in West Africa so as to make Mauritius better known to the local and regional business operators. So, for us who are also bilingual, Abidjan was an obvious choice. And from where we are currently, we can be at the forefront of all the investment happening in the region, helping investors maximise their investor value.

Some of the key points that emerged during the discussion centred on what would be required for Abidjan to develop from a regional business hub into a future International Financial Centre. Of these points, human capital emerged as a critical success factor, one that defines the capacity of a financial centre to service the wide-ranging needs of investors.

The tax element was also brought forward, with the feeling that although it is an important factor to attract investors, it is not enough to create an IFC. In particular, Richard Arlove commented: “While all IFCs carry an element of fiscal attractiveness, tax is but a part of a much larger ecosystem. Enterprise value and investor value are created through good corporate governance which will attract private equity investors and large banks that will, ultimately, bring capital to help finance the growth of companies.

The role of government was also highlighted, namely the responsibility of policy makers and the public sector in making sure that ease of doing business is effective.

Following Abidjan, another Ocorian Forum was also held in Lagos, Nigeria on 11 April. Forthcoming editions are also planned in South Africa, Ghana and India.

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