Enhanced Airport Entry Screening to Begin for Travelers to the United States from Mali

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added Mali to the list of Ebola-affected nations for which enhanced screening and monitoring measures will be taken. There are no direct flights from Mali to the United States. However, each day, a small number of travelers, averaging 15-20, begin itineraries in Mali and transit through other countries en route to the United States. The majority of these travelers are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents returning home to America.

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Economy

Agriculture: Agro pastoral country. The main crops are: Cotton (second producer in Africa), millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanut.
Livestock breeding sector is the largest in West Africa>the country has the largest herds of    cattle, sheep, and goats.

Natural Resources: Gold (second producer in Africa), Phosphates, Kaolin, Salt, Limestone, Uranium, Bauxite, Iron ore, Manganese. A good potential for Oil and natural gas has been confirmed. Some world-renowned exploration companies are currently on the ground.

Major Exports: Cotton, Gold, Livestock

Major Imports: Machinery and Equipment, Construction materials, Petroleum, Foodstuffs, Textiles;

Major Trading Partners: France, ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States ) countries, European Union, China, Italy, Thailand, the United States.

Banking & Finance:
The country has 12 local and international banks. In addition, there are 04 other financial institutions (Equip bail, SOMAFI, F.G.H.M and C.I SA) and 818 outlets in a network of 44 savings and loans associations. In the area of funds transfer, the banking sector has benefited from the introduction of two highly efficient services - Western Union and Money Gram.

Investment Climate and Incentives
Mali offers an attractive environment, conducive to private investment. Mali has indeed clearly opted for the promotion of a market economy, based on an open trading system with a limited intervention of government in the productive sectors. The effects of economic reforms and courageous policy, implemented in Mali, have resulted in a resumption of economic growth and an improved investment climate.

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The Investor's guide

The Single Counter: This One-Stop Shop brings together in one place, the administrative departments involved in issuing documents required to create an enterprise.

It aims at:
  • simplifying and speeding up administrative procedures for the creation of enterprises;
  • reducing the deadlines of acquiring formal approval;
  • building trust between the Government and investors
  • increasing State services’ efficiency;
  • Promoting private investment.
  • The Single Counter carries out the following services:
    • Provides with application forms and all other required documents;
    • Provides with administrative and legal guidance
    • Issue authorizations to operate.
The Single Counter covers the following sector of activities: industries, building and public constructions, real estate, architecture offices, consulting firms, engineer offices, culture, tourism, public transportation of people and goods, establishments rated dangerous, insalubrious and uncomfortable

Free Trade Arrangements

Mali is a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of West African States (UEMOA) which aims to introduce a common market and free trade in goods, labor, capital and services.  Mali is also a member of the larger grouping of ECOWAS - Economic Community of West African States which aims to promote economic integration between member states such as by eliminating trade barriers.
There is no free-trade zone in Mali, however there are bonded warehouses for goods in transit and export-zone status is granted to companies if all products are to be exported, which also qualifies them for tax-free status.

The legislation:

Mali tax and regulatory environment is very attractive and ever-improving
  • At the level of the Investment Code
in addition to the traditional conditions provided to investors (exemption from trading license and tax on incomes derived from trade and manufacture as well as the contribution to trade licenses and corporate tax for 5 to 8 years for A and B regimes respectively), the investment code provides:

1- Exemption from import taxes and duties on construction equipment and materials needed for investments and tax benefits during the implementation phase (3 years),

2- A four-year supplementary exemption for enterprises adding value to local resources.
  • At the level of investment guarantees
Foreign investors enjoy the same privileges as national investors and are allowed to transfer their capital and incomes in the original currencies in which the investments were made.

Approval under the investment code is also valid for the granting of any guarantee as stipulated in Article 15 of the Treaty establishing the MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) signed by  Mali in October 1990.

Mali ratified:
-The Convention of 18 March 1965 creating the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes between states and citizens of other states (CSID) established under the auspices of the World Bank;
-The Treaty of 17 October 1993 establishing the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).

Simplification of procedures

There is a one-stop shop for the simplification of administrative procedures relating to investment: The Single Counter

Mali is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) which comprises 15 francophone African countries who have agreed to harmonize their business practices and laws, guaranteeing international arbitration in disputes. Mali has signed the CIRDI Treaty sponsored by the World Bank group and is also engaged in bilateral investment agreements with South Africa, Algeria and Senegal.

  • Tax incentives:
  • Investment Law:
  • Labor: Employees ‘rights are protected by internationally recognized labor provisions


Labor working period: 40 hours for a 5-day week, from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm with a break of 30 minutes except Friday when the hours are from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm with a break of 2 hours.

Wage: is freely negotiated between the employer and the employee, but cannot be lower than the Guaranteed Minimum Wage (SMIG)

Intellectual Property Rights

The National Directorate of Industries is responsible for the protection of intellectual property rights. These include the WTO agreement and the law fully covers patents, copyrights and trademarks.

Links:  Investment Guide to Mali

Investment

Mali began liberalizing its trade regime in 1980’s by eliminating export monopolies and simplifying import licensing.

As a politically democratic country with a healthy macroeconomic framework, positive growth rate, an increasingly light regulatory, legislative and institutional environment, an economy geared towards regional and sub-regional integration, Mali is widely open to private investments.

INVESTMENT CODE


Mali investment code grants a beneficial fiscal regime in order to promote private capital investment for Malians as well as foreigners in the field of production and services and provides necessary guarantees to secure existing investment.

Regimes

Advantages

Trade Name

Investments

A
(Small & Medium Enterprise System)

≤ 150 million F CFA

  1. New Activity creation:
  1. exemption for three (3) years on taxes and customs duties from import of production equipments and construction materials required for the approved project;
  2. Exemption for five (5) years on taxes in favor of the companies and on taxes from the industrial and commercial benefits as well as the licenses
  1. Development of existing Activities:

- Exemption for one (1) year on taxes and customs duties from import of production equipments and construction materials required for the approved project.

B
(Large Enterprise System)

> 150 Million F CFA

  1. New Activity creation:
  1. exemption for three (3) years on taxes and customs duties from import of production equipments and construction materials required for the approved project;
  2. Exemption for eight (8) years on taxes in favor of the companies and on taxes from the industrial and commercial benefits as well as the licenses
  1. Development of existing Activities:

- Exemption for one (1) year on taxes and customs duties from import of production equipments and construction materials required for the approved project.

Free Zone System: For new mainly export-oriented enterprises, which can sell not more than 20% of their production on the domestic market?

- The enterprises that are approved in Duty Free Zone System are granted the total exemption on taxes and customs duties related to their activities exercise over thirty (30) years. They are authorized to sell a maximum of 20% of their production on the local market by paying the normal taxes and custom duties as appropriate


Ten Reasons to Invest in Mali:
  1. Mali is a haven of political and social stability Mali is considered as one of the most democratic countries in Africa. moreover, the country has undergone two pacific democratic transitions
  2. The global strategy of the Government of Mali is to promote legal, regulatory, and administrative change in favor of private sector enterprise and the subsequent development of key sectors, resources and activities oriented to private investment.
  3. Mali has ratified international conventions to protect and guarantee investments.
  4. Mali guarantees the transfer of profits originating from investment capital.
  5. Mali is strategically located in the heart of West Africa: the country is bordered with seven countries, therefore seven markets.
  6. Mali belongs to West African Economic and Monetary Union with approximately 73 millions consumers and to the Economic Community of West African States representing a market of 220 million consumers.
  7. Mali has huge reserves of untapped cultural, hydraulic, and agricultural, livestock, and mining resources. Another important resource is its very active business people.
  8. Mali has undertaken reforms to improve judicial, fiscal and economic conditions in favor of investment.
  9. For the past three years Mali has an annual growth rate in excess of 6 % and the inflation rate has been less than 3%.
  10. Mali has a strong and credible banking and financial services sector that is developing a wide range of investment related products in collaboration with international and West African regional partners.

Trade and Investment

“Mali is a model country where safety of investments is guaranteed within a stable political and social climate”

Historically, Mali has been a nation of trade and migration. For a long time, entrepreneurial spirit was largely reflected in trade and distribution. However, a new generation of business people active in all sectors is emerging. With liberalization and privatization of public enterprises, there is a great potential for Foreign Direct Investment.

Mali has strengthened its presence in the global economy because of a strong political will to mobilize national resources and attract foreign investment.

To get involved personally, the President has established the Presidential Council for Investment (CPI), which translates into reality his desire to make Mali a preferred destination for investment, both regionally and globally.

This advisory body, which is a forum of dialogue between the Government, domestic and foreign investors, and international institutions, aims at creating conditions conducive to investment.

The United States is one of the most dynamic trade partners. Mali and the United States share significant bilateral relations. For instance, the country is eligible for OPIC financing and insurance as well as for Exim Bank coverage on commercial loans.

Since 2002, Mali is eligible to African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). In October 2005 the two countries signed an open skies agreement to spur trade, investment, tourism, and cultural exchange.

Although they have not reached their potential, trade relations between Mali and the United States have been expanding.
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