Republic of Congo seeks foreign investors in Paris

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Republic of the Congo

Hard hit by the fall of the global oil prices, its main source of income, and subsequent effects of coronavirus, the Republic of Congo are struggling to stabilize its economy.

The country's authorities attended a summit organized by a French group of employers in Paris to attract private investment.

"This was an opportunity to establish contacts that will lead to visits to Congo, in other words, companies will travel to Brazzaville and our country (Congo), and the conclusion of about half a dozen memorandums of understanding that will very quickly lead to direct investments," Thierry Moungalla, Congo's spokesperson said.

Brazzaville said it has received from French businessmen a pledge of investment of about 200 million euros. But in order to convince them of its potential, the country is expected to implement reforms, including those relating to the fight against corruption.

"There is the recasting of the law on the fight against corruption, which is an important article that will soon be introduced into the decision-making process and which will enable us because it has been seen and reviewed with the IMF experts and has taken into account the objective elements and standards that this important institution considers necessary in this type of text and it will soon be adopted by the competent authorities," Thierry Moungalla added.

But in its quest for post-Covid resilience, Congo is expected to focus on two issues: the conclusion of an agreement with the IMF and the management of its debt deemed unsustainable. This represents 110% of its GDP.

"The French authorities have indicated their willingness, notably the French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, Mr. Bruno Lemaire, to accompany the Congo on two levels. Firstly, to facilitate contacts with the IMF, since France is one of the administrators, so it is no small thing to obtain political and multiform support from France, and secondly, to accompany us in this process of debt management with the creditors and traders. We have three creditors known as traders, Orient Oil, Glencore, and Trafigura. As we speak, two out of three of these creditors have already reached an agreement with the state," Moungalla said.

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