Gabon
In-depth country-focused analysis on Gabon's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Our comprehensive assessment of Gabon's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Gabon, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Gabon's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Gabon before your competitors.

Country Risk

Gabon Country Risk

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  • Political Risk will remain elevated in Francophone West Africa, a region which is characterised by weak state institutions and lasting political instability. Violence in Mali and the collapse of the Central African Republic highlight the fragility of impoverished inland countries, and the need for regional solutions to failed states.

  • Long-term Economic G rowth in Francophone West Africa will average just 5.0% between 2014 and 2023, much lower than the 6.4% that we forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). BMI believes that the economies of UEMOA will outperform those of CEMAC, many of which are struggling with stagnating oil production.

  • Economic growth in Côte d'Ivoire will remain elevated, averaging 8.0% between 2014...

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Gabon Country Risk

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Core Views

  • The ruling Parti Congolais du Travail has used local elections to consolidate its authority. Political change is more likely to come from within the ruling party than from the country's fragmented opposition.

  • Lower iron ore prices will delay investment projects in the Republic of the Congo, while government spending cuts reduce infrastructure expenditure. Nevertheless, increasing oil output will keep headline real GDP growth among the fastest in the region.  

Long Term Views

  • President Denis Sassou-Nguesso will reform his country's constitution in order to run for another term in elections scheduled for 2016. The move will prove controversial, raising political tensions in Congo-Brazzaville. Even so, we see little threat to the current government's control over the...

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Gabon Industry Coverage (6)

Autos

Gabon Autos

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In the first quarter of 2014 we revised up our forecast for 2013 new vehicle sales in Gabon from 3.8% to 9% y-o-y, on the back of a better than expected vehicle sales performance in the first half of 2013, when the Union of Automotive Industry Representatives (URAI) estimated that new vehicle sales grew 9% y-o-y, 3,062 units, in H113. We are of a similar view this quarter. We forecast total sales to rise 7.8% in 2014, to 6,225 units. Growth will average 8.1% in 2014-2018. Passenger car growth will average 7.98%, with 5,300 units shifted in 2014.

While this is partly owing to favourable base effects from nearly a 10% y-o-y decline in sales in 2012 (and over a 14% drop in car sales), the URAI attributes the growth to the resurgence in public and private sector activity during 2013, which clearly translated into increased vehicle demand. We believe that the vehicle demand could have also been bolstered by the strong euro which has lowered the...

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Food & Drink

Gabon Food & Drink

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President Ali Bongo has proved to be a much more active economic reformer than his father, working hard to court foreign investors into Gabon and diversify the economy away from stagnating oil production. He has invested in infrastructure, brought in foreign experts and launched an ambitious programme of social spending to address widespread poverty. However, we stress that government targets of transforming the country into a major economic centre by 2025 are unreasonably optimistic. Gabon's small workforce, limited domestic market and opaque business environment will all pose obstacles to economic diversification. Additionally, the country's small population, relative to its regional peers, will continue to weigh on food and drink industry prospects.

Key Forecasts

  • Per capita food consumption growth (local currency) in 2014: +3.7%; compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2013 to 2018: +3...

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Infrastructure

Gabon Infrastructure

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BMI View: Sizable investment plans for Gabon's infrastructure sector are likely to be hit by growing concerns over the country's fiscal health. A combination of falling oil revenues and growth social expenditure has caused the government to spending elsewhere, with infrastructure projects likely to be hit. As such, we have downgraded our 2014 and 2015 growth rates to 7.9% and 10.0% respectively.  

Gabon's small construction industry size, combined with a number of large projects should support construction sector growth over the next five years. However, there are numerous problems that need to be overcome to secure investment, including improving flows of capital from the government into projects, addressing deep-rooted corruption and attracting private capital. This is especially pertinent as the country struggles with its fiscal position and we anticipate capital...

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Oil & Gas

Gabon Oil & Gas

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...
Headline Forecasts (Gabon 2012-2018)
  2012e 2013e 2014f 2015f 2016f 2017f 2018f
Crude, NGPL & other liquids prod, 000b/d

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Gabon Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View:   This quarter has seen the expansion of the National Health Insurance and Social Security (CNAMGS) to include the entire private sector, and funding for the scheme has also been increased. This continued expansion, coupled with a high burden of disease , will drive the need for pharmaceutical products providing opportunities for drugmakers. The continued presence of counterfeit drugs and insufficient healthcare infrastructure are weaknesses of the pharmaceutical market in Gabon.

Headline Expenditure Forecasts

  • Pharmaceuticals: XAF50.85bn (USD102mn) in 2013 to XAF53.06bn (USD108mn) in 2014; +4.3% in local currency and 6.1% in US dollar terms.  Forecast revised downwards from Q414.

  • ...

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Telecommunications

Gabon Telecommunications

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BMI View: Our Q414 West and Central Africa report analyses latest industry, regulatory and macroeconomic developments in the telecoms markets of seven countries: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The greatest growth area in these markets is the broadband sector, which should benefit from improved international connectivity, investment in wireless data networks and cheaper devices. The mobile operators in the region will also seek to expand their non-voice services portfolios to create new revenue streams that will offset the sluggish revenue growth from traditional services.  

Key Data

  • The average mobile market growth for the seven countries in our...

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