Financial Data
Updated 25 Mar 2017


DRC

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Business opportunities and risks

Opportunities for you to do business in DRC

DRC-Brochure-Image

The agriculture, financial and retail sectors remain underdeveloped, affording foreign investors and expanding businesses several opportunities. There is also significant potential for growth in the solar industry. The DRC falls in a belt with very high levels of sunshine, while the country’s current electricity supply shortages call for alternative methods of providing power.

Additionally the fishery and livestock sectors offer great potential for investment. The country currently imports frozen chicken and fish, so citizens pay high prices for these items.

Foreign investors are allowed to bid for government contracts. They may be given preference in the process because of their ability to easily access and present international insurance funding guarantees. Foreign and domestic investors also have equal access to the credit market. However, the market tends to favour foreign investors because of their likelihood to provide valid guarantees and collateral.

Operational risks to consider

While there are several opportunities worth tapping into in the DRC, the country is not without its challenges and savvy investors and businesses should carefully consider and plan for these challenges before becoming established in a particular market.

These challenges include:

  • Foreign investors are subject to demands for bribes and the subjective interpretation of regulatory and taxation policies;
  • Foreign investment is additionally subject to a multitude of taxes collected on imported goods by several government agencies. Slow and burdensome custom processes add to the challenge;
  • Investors face a risk of financial loss and legal costs due to lengthy disputes. There is no effective legal deadline for judgements when commercial matters are brought to the judicial system;
  • There is a shortage of skilled workers. This means sourcing experienced labour may be expensive for investors. Investors may have to incur costs to upskill the workers they employ;
  • Visas for foreign workers are valid for three months at a time. Workers may qualify for an establishment visa that is valid for up to a year. This will be an inconvenience to foreign investors bringing expatriate employees into the DRC;
  • Electricity shortages, limited transportation and inadequate physical infrastructure may bring extra costs;
  • Increased demand and an ageing infrastructure are causing power shortages and putting the electricity grid under strain. This poses a challenge to companies that are highly dependent on electricity. Such companies may have to spend more on alternative methods of power supply.
  • Only 2.2% of the DRC’s citizens have internet access. Conducting business on a digital platform could be challenging and businesses would have to plan for the potential of financial losses.
Business challenges
  • Electricity shortages, limited transportation and inadequate physical infrastructure may bring extra costs
  • Only 2.2% of the DRC’s citizens have Internet access. Conducting business on a digital platform could be challenging.
  • Due to the shortage of skilled workers sourcing workers may be expensive
  • Foreign investment is subject to a multitude of taxes collected on imported goods by several government agencies.
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