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U.S. Department of State
Niger Country Commercial Guide
Office of the Coordinator for Business Affairs



                            Country Commercial Guide 
                                      Niger 
                                 Fiscal Year 1996 
 
 
This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at 
Niger's commercial environment through economic, political and market 
analyses.   
 
The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion 
Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate 
various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community.  
Country Commercial Guides are prepared annualy at U.S. Embassies through 
the combined efforts of several U.S. governement agencies.   
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
----------------- 
I.     COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW:  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
II.    ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
III.   POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
IV.    MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
V.     LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT 
VI.    TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
VII.   INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
VIII.  TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
IX.    BUSINESS TRAVEL 
X.     APPENDICES 
  A. COUNTRY DATA 
  B. DOMESTIC ECONOMY 
  C. TRADE 
  D. INVESTMENT STATISTICS 
  E. U.S. AND COUNTRY CONTACTS 


 
----------------------------------------- 
I.  COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
----------------------------------------- 
 
IN RECENT YEARS THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGER HAS TRIED TO ENCOURAGE FOREIGN 
TRADE AND INVESTMENT BY PUTTING INTO EFFECT NEW INVESTMENT, MINING, AND 
PETROLEUM CODES.  THE CODES PROVIDE:  TAX ADVANTAGES TO FOREIGN 
INVESTMENT; DUTY-FREE IMPORT OF CAPITAL EQUIPMENT; GUARANTEES AGAINST 
EXPROPRIATION; AND THE RIGHT TO REPATRIATE EARNINGS AND DIVIDENDS.   
   
THE GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO RESTRUCTURING THE ECONOMY AND RESTARTING 
GROWTH VIA A STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM WITH THE WORLD BANK AND 
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.  UNDER ITS EMERGENCY RECOVERY PROGRAM, THE 
NEW GOVERNMENT HAS INCREASED REVENUES, LARGELY THROUGH CUSTOMS RECEIPTS, 
AND HELD THE LINE ON CIVIL SERVICE SALARIES, A POLITICALLY DIFFICULT 
TASK.  THE GOVERNMENT HAS LIMITED EXPENDITURES TO THE LEVEL OF RECEIPTS 
WHICH BALANCES THE BUDGET IN THE SHORT RUN, BUT LEAVES LARGE ARREARS AND 
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES UNPAID, AND PROVIDES NOTHING FOR LONG-TERM 
INVESTMENTS.  STILL, THE GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN POSITIVE STEPS TOWARD 
MEETING BANK AND FUND BENCHMARKS.   
 
THE GOVERNMENT PLANS A MISSION TO WASHINGTON IN LATE JULY TO NEGOTIATE 
WITH THE BANK AND FUND ON REJOINING THE 1994 STAND-BY AGREEMENT WITH THE 
WORLD BANK AND SIGNING AN EXTENDED STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT FACILITY (ESAF) 
WITH THE IMF IN SEPTEMBER.  IF NEGOTIATIONS ARE SUCCESSFUL, FUNDS WOULD 
BE AVAILABLE IN NOVEMBER TO HELP BALANCE THE BUDGET, RELAUNCH STALLED 
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, AND STIMULATE THE ECONOMY.  OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. 
EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT MIGHT FOLLOW. 
 
THE ECONOMY HAS ONLY A SMALL MODERN SECTOR WITH SOME LIGHT MANUFACTURING 
AND A SMALL CLASS OF CONSUMERS FOR MANUFACTURED GOODS.  SEVERAL PARTLY 
OR WHOLLY GOVERNMENT-OWNED COMPANIES ACCOUNT FOR MOST FORMAL SECTOR 
ACTIVITY.  STILL, THE SYSTEM IS THOROUGHLY OPEN TO FOREIGN TRADE AND 
FOREIGN INVESTMENT, INCLUDING FROM THE U.S.   
 
THE MOST IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY FOR U.S. BUSINESS, PARTICULARLY IF 
AGREEMENTS ARE REACHED WITH THE BANK AND THE FUND, IS IN PROVIDING 
CONSULTING AND ENGINEERING SERVICES TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS SUPPORTED BY 
THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK, OTHER MULTILATERAL BANKS, AND BILATERAL 
DONORS.  RECENT DEVELOPMENT OF GOLD DEPOSITS AND SPORADIC PETROLEUM 
EXPLORATION ACTIVITY MAY LEAD TO INCREASED BUSINESS FOR U.S. COMPANIES.  
OTHER INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES MAY EXIST IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES 
AND EQUIPMENT, VEHICLES (ESPECIALLY FOUR WHEEL DRIVE), PHARMACEUTICALS 
(PARTICULARLY GENERIC DRUGS), HEAVY CONSTRUCTION AND EARTH-MOVING 
EQUIPMENT, FOOD PROCESSING, AND COAL-FIRED ELECTRICAL GENERATING 
EQUIPMENT.  THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES WITH THE TUAREG ETHNIC GROUP IN 
NORTHERN NIGER COULD LEAD TO EXPANDED TOURISM. 
 
THE MAJOR ROADBLOCK TO DOING BUSINESS IS THE SMALL SIZE OF THE MARKET 
AND THE LOW PER CAPITA INCOMES.  THE ECONOMY IS CHARACTERIZED BY WIDE-
SPREAD SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE AND INFORMAL MARKET ACTIVITY.  NIGER, 
HOWEVER, IS A PART OF THE LARGER, FRENCH-SPEAKING WEST AFRICA CFA FRANC 
ZONE:  POTENTIALLY A MUCH LARGER MARKET.  FRANCE, THE FORMER COLONIAL 
POWER, IS VIRTUALLY THE ONLY FOREIGN INVESTOR IN NIGER.  HOWEVER, 
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING TO ATTRACT TRADE AND INVESTMENT FROM 
NON-TRADITIONAL SOURCES, ESPECIALLY THE U.S. 
 
COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDES ARE AVAILABLE ON THE NATIONAL TRADE DATA BANK 
ON CD-ROM OR THROUGH THE INTERNET.  PLEASE CONTACT STAT-USA AT 1-800-
STAT-USA FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING WORLD WIDE WEB 
ADDRESS:  WWW.STAT-USA.GOV.  CCGS CAN ALSO BE ORDERED IN HARD COPY OR ON 
DISKETTE FROM THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE (NTIS) AT  
1-800-553-NTIS. 
 
------------------------------ 
II. ECONOMIC TRENDS AND OUTLOOK 
------------------------------ 
 
MAJOR TRENDS AND OUTLOOK:  THE DEVALUATION OF THE CFA FRANC IN JANUARY 
1994 AND THE PROSPECT OF A STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM WITH THE WORLD 
BANK AND CONCESSIONAL LOANS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) 
IN THE FALL OF 1995 HAVE IMPROVED THE OUTLOOK FOR THE ECONOMY OF NIGER.  
THE DEVALUATION HAS INCREASED THE COMPETITIVENESS OF NIGER'S (AND OTHER 
CFA FRANC ZONE) PRODUCTS.  THE DEVALUATION HALVED THE COST OF LOCAL 
INPUTS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF AN OUTSIDE PURCHASER OR INVESTOR.  
SINCE THE DEVALUATION, 1994-1995 TRADE STATISTICS SHOW GAINS FOR NIGER'S 
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS IN REGIONAL MARKETS.   
 
THE GOVERNMENT RECENTLY ENACTED THE 1995 BUDGET WHICH AIMS AT SATISFYING 
THE BRETTON WOODS INSTITUTIONS BY DEMONSTRATING NIGER'S RENEWED 
COMMITMENT TO FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.  IT ENVISIONS INCREASED REVENUES 
FROM CUSTOMS, DUTIES, AND TAXES AND CUTS EXPENDITURES ON WAGES AND 
SCHOLARSHIPS.  DESPITE THESE CUTS, THE PUBLIC SERVANT WAGE BILL OF $101M 
REMAINS THE SINGLE LARGEST EXPENDITURE. THE OVERALL GOVERNMENT BUDGET IS 
$8.1M LESS THAN IN 1994. 
 
THE REAL QUESTION IS WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT HAS THE POLITICAL WILL TO 
MAINTAIN ITS COMMITMENT TO REDUCE CIVIL SERVANT SALARIES AND RISK 
POTENTIALLY CRIPPLING STRIKES.  THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES UNION (USTN) HAS 
DEMONSTRATED ITS WILLINGNESS IN THE PAST TO SHUT DOWN THE COUNTRY IF 
WAGES ARE THREATENED.  AT THE TIME OF WRITING, THE OUTLOOK WAS 
UNCERTAIN, BUT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WERE OPTIMISTIC THAT THEY COULD HOLD 
THE BUDGET LINE.   
 
THE NEW GOVERNMENT HOPES ITS EFFORTS TO RESTRUCTURE THE ECONOMY WILL BE 
REWARDED BY INTERNATIONAL MONETARY INSTITUTIONS WITH A NEW STRUCTURAL 
ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM (SAP) AND AN EXTENDED STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT FACILITY 
(ESAF) IN THE FALL OF 1995.  THE POSITIVE MEETINGS WITH IMF AND WORLD 
BANK OFFICIALS IN THE SPRING OF 1995 ARE CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM.  A SAP 
WOULD BRING ADDITIONAL FUNDING FROM THE WORLD BANK, WHILE THE ESAF WOULD 
PROVIDE ACCESS TO ADDITIONAL PREFERENTIAL LOANS.  THESE AGREEMENTS WOULD 
PRODUCE AN INCREASE IN CAPITAL AND MAY PROVIDE EXPANDED OPPORTUNITIES 
FOR AMERICAN INVESTMENT IN NIGER.     
 
INDUSTRIALIZED MEMBERS OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (AFDB) HAVE 
HALTED THE REPLENISHMENT OF LOANABLE FUNDS PENDING AN INTERNAL 
REORGANIZATION OF THE BANK.  AN INITIAL REORGANIZATION TOOK PLACE IN THE 
SPRING OF 1995 AND A NEW PRESIDENT AND NEW BOARD ARE SCHEDULED TO BE IN 
PLACE BY SEPTEMBER 1995.  A SUCCESSFUL REORGANIZATION SHOULD LEAD THE 
INDUSTRIALIZED MEMBER NATIONS TO A REPLENISHMENT OF THE AFDB'S LOAN 
FUNDS. HOWEVER, NIGER HAS FALLEN BEHIND ON ITS CURRENT DEBT PAYMENTS TO 
THE AFDB, AND MUST SETTLE THESE ARREARS IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR 
APPROXIMATELY $82M IN NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS. 
 
THESE MACROECONOMIC EVENTS PLAY OUT AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A SMALL AND 
FRAGILE ECONOMY BASED LARGELY ON SUBSISTENCE-LEVEL AGRICULTURE AND 
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.  HARD HIT BY DROUGHT AND DESERTIFICATION, NIGER 
REMAINS ONE OF THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.  URANIUM MINING 
REPRESENTS THE ONE INDUSTRY OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE AND NIGER'S TOP 
FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER.  HOWEVER, DECLINING WORLD DEMAND HAS REDUCED 
URANIUM REVENUES TO ABOUT HALF OF WHAT THEY WERE IN THE PEAK YEAR OF 
1983.  AS A CONSEQUENCE, OTHER SECTORS LIKE BANKING, CONSTRUCTION, AND 
TRANSPORTATION, LARGELY DEPENDENT ON THE PROFITS AND REVENUES ONCE 
GENERATED BY URANIUM, ARE ALSO SEVERELY DEPRESSED.   
 
PRINCIPAL GROWTH SECTORS:  THERE IS GROWTH POTENTIAL IN GOLD MINING.  
PROVEN RESERVES HAVE ALREADY ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION OF NINE 
INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES, INCLUDING TWO FROM THE U.S., WHO HAVE TAKEN OUT 
EXPLORATION LICENSES.  NIGER HAS SIZABLE COAL RESERVES THAT SUGGEST 
POTENTIAL FOR FURTHER ELECTRICAL GENERATION.  LIGHT MANUFACTURING HAS 
BEEN MADE MORE COMPETITIVE BY DEVALUATION OF THE CFA FRANC, WHICH HAS 
HALVED THE COST OF LOCAL INPUTS, ESPECIALLY LABOR, FROM THE POINT OF 
VIEW OF FOREIGN INVESTORS.  THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SECTOR, ESPECIALLY 
DIGITAL SWITCHING AND SATELLITE SERVICES, HAS POTENTIAL FOR 
MODERNIZATION AND GROWTH AND HAS ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION OF POTENTIAL 
U.S. INVESTORS.  FOOD DRYING OR OTHER PROCESSING REMAINS AN UNTAPPED 
POSSIBILITY, PARTICULARLY FOR ONIONS. 
 
GOVERNMENT ROLE IN THE ECONOMY:  THE GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS AND PROMOTES 
AN OPEN ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND HAS A FREE-TRADE POLICY.  NIGER WELCOMES 
FOREIGN INVESTMENT.  SEVERAL INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES ARE PARASTATALS 
WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT.  THE GOVERNMENT HAS MADE 
SOME HEADWAY IN RESTRUCTURING, BUT WOULD LIKE TO MOVE MUCH FURTHER 
TOWARD PRIVATIZATION.  THE 35,000 CIVIL SERVANTS CONSTITUTE ABOUT HALF 
THE WORKERS IN THE FORMAL SECTOR.  ONE OF THE VERY MOST IMPORTANT ROLES 
OF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO ATTRACT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FUNDED BY 
MULTILATERAL DONORS -- THE WORLD BANK AND AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK -- 
WHICH HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BRING TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO 
NIGER'S ECONOMY. 
   
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS:  NIGER'S BALANCE OF TRADE DEFICIT FOR 1995 IS 
ESTIMATED AT $46M.  THE LONG TERM OUTLOOK IS FOR A MODEST SURPLUS DRIVEN 
BY INCREASES IN THE VALUE OF URANIUM EXPORTS AND INCREASED 
COMPETITIVENESS OF NIGER'S OTHER EXPORTS ALONG WITH SOME DECREASE IN 
IMPORTS, ESPECIALLY FROM OUTSIDE THE CFA FRANC ZONE.  THE BILL FOR 
SERVICES WILL COST NIGER $165.2M IN 1995.  THE ESTIMATED CURRENT ACCOUNT 
BALANCE FOR 1995 IS A DEFICIT OF $130.8M.  IF NIGER IS SUCCESSFUL IN ITS 
EFFORTS TO SECURE A STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM, THE GOVERNMENT 
PROJECTS THE OVERALL BALANCE OF PAYMENTS DEFICIT TO DIMINISH 
SIGNIFICANTLY BY 1999. 
 
INFRASTRUCTURE:  NIGER HAS A MODERN TELEPHONE AND  TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
SYSTEM CAPABLE OF DIRECT DIAL SERVICE WORLDWIDE, BUT TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
COSTS ARE EXPENSIVE.  THERE ARE SEVERAL FLIGHTS WEEKLY FROM EUROPE, AS 
WELL AS CONNECTIONS TO OTHER CITIES IN WEST AFRICA SEVERAL TIMES PER 
WEEK.  THERE IS NO REGULAR INTERNAL AIR SERVICE, BUT THERE IS A CHARTER 
SERVICE.  THE POSTAL SYSTEM IS EFFICIENT, BUT EXPENSIVE.  THERE IS A 
NATIONAL NETWORK OF PAVED ROADS THAT STRETCHES FROM NIAMEY IN THE WEST 
TO THE FAR EAST OF THE COUNTRY WITH BRANCHES LEADING NORTH TO TAHOUA, 
AGADEZ, AND ARLIT.  THE NATIONAL SYSTEM TIES INTO THE NATIONAL SYSTEM IN 
NIGERIA AT SEVERAL IMPORTANT POINTS.  IT IS ALSO LINKED WITH THE ROADS 
IN NEIGHBORING BENIN, TOGO, AND BURKINA FASO.  UTILITIES ARE OF HIGH 
QUALITY IN NIAMEY AND THE OTHER LARGER CITIES, BUT ARE EXPENSIVE.  
 
------------------------- 
III. POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT 
------------------------- 
 
NATURE OF POLITICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH UNITED STATES:  BILATERAL 
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND NIGER ARE GOOD.  THE U.S. GOVERNMENT 
MORALLY AND MATERIALLY SUPPORTED THE ADOPTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC 
CONSTITUTION OF THE THIRD REPUBLIC AND THE SEVERAL ROUNDS OF FREE, FAIR, 
AND OPEN ELECTIONS THAT FOLLOWED.  NIGER IS A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY.  
THE U.S. SUPPORTS ITS EFFORTS TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOVERN MORE 
EFFICIENTLY.  SECONDLY, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT ACTIVELY ASSISTS IN THE 
EFFORT TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. 
 
MAJOR POLITICAL ISSUES AFFECTING BUSINESS CLIMATE:  THE ANNUAL DEBATE 
ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT BUDGET, WITH THE FOCUS ON THE 80% OF ALL 
EXPENDITURES DEVOTED TO CIVIL SERVANT SALARIES, DOMINATES POLITICAL 
DISCUSSION AND IS THE KEY FACTOR DETERMINING THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY.  
GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON SALARIES MUST BE REDUCED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A 
SATISFACTORY AGREEMENT WITH IMF AND THE WORLD BANK.  HOWEVER, THE PUBLIC 
EMPLOYEES UNION WIELDS TREMENDOUS POWER AND CAN BRING THE COUNTRY TO A 
HALT BY STRIKING.  THE NEW GOVERNMENT'S SUCCESS OR FAILURE IN RESOLVING 
THE SALARY ISSUE WILL LARGELY DETERMINE THE FUTURE PATH OF THE ECONOMY 
OF NIGER. 
   
OVERVIEW OF POLITICAL SYSTEM:  NIGER IS GOVERNED BY A POPULARLY-ELECTED 
PRESIDENT, AS WELL AS A PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET DRAWN FROM AN 83 SEAT 
PARLIAMENT.  THE JANUARY 1995 ELECTIONS PRODUCED A "COALITION" OR SHARED 
GOVERNMENT OF TWO OPPOSING FACTIONS, SIMILAR TO THE CURRENT SITUATION IN 
THE U.S.  PRESIDENT MAHAMANE OUSMANE, ELECTED IN 1993, AND HIS COALITION 
OF PARTIES ARE IN THE OPPOSITION WITH 40 SEATS, WHILE NEWLY APPOINTED 
PRIME MINISTER HAMA AMADOU LEADS A FOUR-PARTY COALITION MAJORITY WHICH 
HOLDS 43 SEATS.  THE TWO FACTIONS ENGAGED IN A LEGALISTIC STRUGGLE FOR 
POWER FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AFTER THE ELECTION, BUT BY SUMMER 1995 THE 
PRIME MINISTER AND HIS COALITION HAD BEGUN TO USE THEIR SLENDER 3 SEAT 
MAJORITY TO PASS LEGISLATION.   
 
PRIME MINISTER HAMA AMADOU AND HIS PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY SEEM COMMITTED 
TO INCREASING REVENUES AND CUTTING SPENDING IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A NEW 
STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM WITH THE WORLD BANK AND IMF.  THE 
COMBINATION OF A POSITIVE SERIES OF MEETINGS WITH THE BRETTON WOODS 
INSTITUTIONS IN THE SPRING OF 1995 AND THE 1995 BUDGET CUTS ARE CAUSE 
FOR SOME OPTIMISM.   
 
IN THE PAST, THE FEDERATION OF LABOR UNIONS (USTN) HAS RESORTED TO 
GENERAL STRIKES TO FORCE THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE CONCESSIONS ON CIVIL 
SERVANT SALARIES, BUT THE NEW GOVERNMENT IS TAKING A TOUGHER STAND.  
 
A FURTHER IMPORTANT POLITICAL ISSUE IS THE RECENT PEACE SETTLEMENT WHICH 
HALTED A REBELLION BY ELEMENTS OF THE TUAREG ETHNIC GROUP.  SPORADIC 
ATTACKS BY THE TUAREGS IN NIGER'S PART OF THE SAHARA HAD EFFECTIVELY 
CLOSED THE NORTH OF THE COUNTRY TO BUSINESS AND TOURISM FOR SEVERAL 
YEARS.  THE PEACE ACCORD ESTABLISHES A PERMANENT CEASE-FIRE, PROVIDES 
FOR A GENERAL AMNESTY, SETS A TIME-FRAME FOR DEMOBILIZATION OF TUAREG 
FIGHTERS AND FOR GOVERNMENT DECENTRALIZATION, AND PROMISES AUGMENTED 
SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN THE NORTH. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
IV. MARKETING U.S. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 
--------------------------------------- 
 
THE KEY TO MARKETING IN NIGER IS TAKING THE TIME TO KNOW THE COUNTRY AND 
BUILD IMPORTANT BUSINESS CONTACTS.  THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS FRENCH, AND 
SINCE FEW PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH, ENGAGING A LOCAL AGENT OR HIRING AN 
INTERPRETER IS ESSENTIAL.  AT A MINIMUM, A U.S. COMPANY SHOULD OBTAIN A 
LOCAL AGENT.   
DIRECT MARKETING:  CHRYSLER/JEEP OPENED A DEALERSHIP IN NIAMEY IN 1994 
AND HAS MADE INROADS IN THE FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE MARKET DOMINATED BY TOYOTA.  
 
JOINT VENTURES/LICENSING:  AN ELF/EXXON JOINT VENTURE DISCOVERED OIL IN 
SOUTHEASTERN NIGER IN THE 1980'S, BUT LOW WORLD PRICES AND THE 
REMOTENESS OF THE SITE HAVE THUS FAR PREVENTED EXPLOITATION.  
 
SELLING TO THE GOVERNMENT:  THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECENTLY OFFERED 
INTERNATIONAL TENDER FOR GENERIC DRUGS AND FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES.  
THE BIDDING PROCEDURES ARE OPENLY PUBLICIZED, BUT SOME BIDDERS FEAR THAT 
BIDS MAY NOT REMAIN SECRET.  A LOCAL AGENT MAY HELP IN THE PROCESS, 
WHICH IN ANY CASE, MOVES SLOWLY BY U.S. STANDARDS.  WITH A WORLD BANK 
STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. BUSINESSES WOULD INCREASE.  
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS REQUIRING ENGINEERING CONSULTING SERVICES, 
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AGRICULTURAL PLANNING, AND SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT 
WOULD GO FORWARD. 
 
NEED FOR A LOCAL ATTORNEY:  THE LEGAL SYSTEM INHERITED FROM FRANCE IS 
SUFFICIENTLY DIFFERENT FROM THE U.S. SYSTEM THAT RETAINING OR OBTAINING 
THE ADVICE OF A LOCAL ATTORNEY IS WISE. 
 
ADVERTISING AND TRADE PROMOTION:  THE GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES THE FRENCH 
LANGUAGE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER FIVE TIMES PER WEEK.  IN ADDITION, THERE ARE 
HALF A DOZEN WEEKLY INDEPENDENT FRENCH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPERS.  ALL 
NEWSPAPERS CARRY PAID ADVERTISING. 
 
DAILY -   LE SAHEL - DAILY 
 
WEEKLY -  SAHEL DIMANCHE  
OR BI-    LE DEMOCRATE  
WEEKLY    LE PAON AFRICAIN 
          HASKE 
          LE REPUBLICAIN 
          TRIBUTE DU PEUPLE 
          MOUSTIQUE 
          LE PATRIOTE 
          LE FLIC 
          ANFANI 
 
ANNUAL BUSINESS GUIDE - ANNUAIRE ECONOMIQUE, PUBLISHED BY NIGER CHAMBER 
OF COMMERCE 
 
------------------------------------------------- 
V. LEADING SECTORS FOR U.S. EXPORTS AND INVESTMENT 
------------------------------------------------- 
 
AMERICAN COMPANIES HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN OIL EXPLORATION FOR SOME YEARS.  
IN ADDITION, U.S. FIRMS HAVE SHOWN AN INTEREST IN GOLD MINING AND 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS.  BEYOND THESE SECTORS, THE BEST PROSPECTS FOR U.S. 
BUSINESS ARE IN CONSULTING AND PLANNING SERVICES ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT 
BANK AND OTHER INTERNATIONALLY FUNDED PROJECTS.  DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS 
SUPPORTED BILATERAL DONORS ALSO AFFORD SOME POSSIBILITIES. 
 
BEST PROSPECTS FOR NON-AGRICULTURAL GOODS AND SERVICES  
 
PART I. RANKING 
 
NON-AGRICULTURAL GOODS 
 
1 - MINING (MIN) 
2 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT (TEL) 
3 - VEHICLES (AUT) 
4 - PHARMACEUTICAL (DRG) 
5 - CONSULTING SERVICES (MCS,TES,AGS,WRE) 
6 - CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT (ON) 
7 - OIL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES (OGM) 
8 - COAL RESERVES (COL)  
 
PART II. NARRATIVE  
 
-- MINING:  PROVEN LARGE GOLD RESERVES HEAD THE LIST.  NINE COMPANIES, 
INCLUDING SANTA FE AND PIONEER FROM THE U.S., ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN 
EXPLORATION OF GOLD DEPOSITS.  POTENTIALLY COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES OF 
SILVER, PLATINUM, PHOSPHATES, TITANIUM, NICKEL AND OTHER MINERALS EXIST 
IN THE SAME WESTERN NIGER REGION AS THE GOLD SEAMS.  NIGER HAS LARGE 
DEPOSITS OF COAL AND IS A LEADING GLOBAL PRODUCER OF URANIUM. 
 
-- TELECOMMUNICATIONS:  U.S. EQUIPMENT IS LIKELY TO BE COMPETITIVE AS 
THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM IS RESTRUCTURED, MODERNIZED AND EXTENDED.  
FUTURE GROWTH AREAS INCLUDE DIGITAL SWITCHING TECHNOLOGY, SATELLITE 
SERVICES, AND CELLULAR PHONES.   
 
-- VEHICLES:  THE MARKET FOR FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES IS SUBSTANTIAL 
AND DOMINATED BY VEHICLES OF JAPANESE MANUFACTURE.  HOWEVER, IF CURRENT 
JAPANESE EXCHANGE RATES REMAIN HIGH, U.S. COMPANIES HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY 
TO GAIN MARKET SHARE WITH COMPETITIVE PRICING.  THE HIGH YEN CURRENTLY 
TRANSLATES INTO A 50% HIGHER PRICE FOR COMPARABLE JAPANESE VEHICLES IN 
THE NIGER MARKET.  CHRYSLER/JEEP OPENED A DEALERSHIP IN NIAMEY IN JULY 
1994. 
 
-- PHARMACEUTICAL:  U.S. PRODUCTS MAY BE COMPETITIVE WITH EUROPEAN 
IMPORTS PURCHASED BY THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED MONOPOLY IMPORTER AND 
WHOLESALER FOR DISTRIBUTION TO NEIGHBORHOOD PHARMACIES.  THE GOVERNMENT, 
MOTIVATED BY INTERNATIONAL DONORS, IS PLANNING TO PURCHASE GENERIC 
DRUGS.  U.S. COMPANIES MAY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO COMPETE WITH ASIAN 
MANUFACTURERS IN THE LESS EXPENSIVE, EASIER TO PRODUCE END OF THE 
MARKET.  HOWEVER, THERE IS A POTENTIAL UNDEVELOPED MARKET IN THE 
PRODUCTION OF MORE COMPLEX, HARDER TO MANUFACTURE GENERIC DRUGS WHERE 
HIGH QUALITY IS IMPORTANT. 
 
-- CONSULTING SERVICES:  IF THE ANTICIPATED STRUCTURAL AGREEMENT IS 
REACHED WITH THE WORLD BANK AND THE IMF IN FALL 1995, SIGNIFICANT 
CAPITAL WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR MAJOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION 
PROJECTS THROUGH THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL 
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.  CONSULTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. ENGINEERING 
FIRMS HEAD THE LIST OF POTENTIAL VENTURES.  CURRENTLY, THE TAMS 
ENGINEERING FIRM (TIPPETS-ABBETT-MCCARTHY-STRATTON) OF NEW YORK IS BEING 
CONSIDERED FOR A $1.2M FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE PROPOSED KANDADJI DAM 
ON THE NIGER RIVER NORTH OF NIAMEY.  THE PROJECT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY 
THE AFDB, BUT IS ON HOLD PENDING REPLENISHMENT OF FUNDS TO THE AFDB. 
 
-- CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT:  THE URANIUM MINING COMPANIES, COMINAK AND 
SOMAIR, ALREADY PURCHASE LARGE CATERPILLAR DUMP TRUCKS AND LOADERS WHICH 
HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES IN THIS MARKET.  IF THE KANDADJI DAM PROJECT GOES 
FORWARD, U.S. COMPANIES WOULD BE A GOOD POSITION TO PROVIDE HEAVY EARTH 
MOVING EQUIPMENT.  
 
-- OIL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES:  ONE U.S. COMPANY, HUNT OIL, 
IS CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN OIL EXPLORATION.  AN ELF/EXXON JOINT VENTURE 
WAS ACTIVE UP TO 1994 AND FOUND OIL.  IF MAJOR DEPOSITS ARE FOUND, THERE 
MAY BE DEMAND FOR OIL EXPLOITATION EQUIPMENT OF ALL KINDS IN THE MEDIUM 
TO LONGER TERM. 
 
-- COAL RESERVES:  MAJOR COAL RESERVES HAVE BEEN FOUND IN CENTRAL NIGER.  
A MARKET MAY EXIST FOR COAL-FIRED ELECTRICAL GENERATING EQUIPMENT AS THE 
NATIONAL NEED FOR ENERGY INCREASES. 
 
 
PART III.  DATA TABLE  
 
(1995/1996 STATISTICS NOT AVAILABLE) 
 
                                     1994 
 
A.  TOTAL MARKET SIZE                 NA 
B.  TOTAL LOCAL PRODUCTION            NA 
C.  TOTAL EXPORT                  $60.4M 
D.  TOTAL IMPORTS                $188.0M 
E.  IMPORTS FROM THE U.S.         $6.07M 
 
(THE ABOVE STATISTICS ARE UNOFFICIAL ESTIMATES) 
 
 
BEST PROSPECTS FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS  
 
PART I. RANKING 
 
1 - FOOD PROCESSING  
2 - LEATHER PRODUCTS 
 
PART II. NARRATIVE 
 
-- FOOD PROCESSING:  EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES FOR DRYING OR OTHERWISE 
PROCESSING ONIONS, GARLIC, AND TOMATOES WOULD ADD VALUE TO THE EXISTING 
SUBSTANTIAL OUTPUT AND EXPORT WITHIN THE REGION.  SIMILAR POTENTIAL MAY 
EXIST FOR MEAT DRYING OR OTHER PROCESSING.  
 
-- LEATHER PRODUCTS:  OPPORTUNITIES EXIST FOR THE PRODUCTION OF 
PARTIALLY FINISHED LEATHER TO BE EXPORTED.  THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF 
CHEAP CATTLE AND ARTISANAL PRODUCTION OF LEATHER AND LEATHER PRODUCTS.  
 
THINK REGIONALLY:  COUNTRIES IN WEST AFRICA ARE USUALLY VIEWED AS 
INDIVIDUAL, SEPARATE MARKETS WITH LOW POPULATIONS DENSITIES, POOR 
INFRASTRUCTURE, LOW PER CAPITA INCOME, AND ONLY A SMALL ELITE WITH 
RELATIVELY GREATER BUYING POWER.  THAT VIEW OBSCURES THE BUSINESS 
POTENTIAL OF TAKING A GROUP OF COUNTRIES OR WEST AFRICA AS A REGION.  
THE CFA FRANC ZONE, WITH ITS COMMON CURRENCY, LANGUAGE, AND LEGAL 
SYSTEMS, COULD BE PROFITABLY REGARDED AS ONE MARKET. 
 
---------------------------------- 
VI. TRADE REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS 
---------------------------------- 
 
TRADE BARRIERS:  THERE ARE NO CODIFIED IMPEDIMENTS TO U.S. OR FOREIGN 
BUSINESS.  THE MAJOR INFORMAL BARRIERS FOR U.S. COMPANIES ARE THE 
HISTORIC AND ECONOMIC TIES TO FRANCE, THE FORMER COLONIAL POWER IN 
NIGER, AND IT IS BOTH CUSTOM AND HABIT TO DO BUSINESS WITH FRENCH 
COMPANIES.  THE CFA FRANC IS PEGGED TO THE FRENCH FRANC AT THE RATE OF 
100 CFA TO ONE FRENCH FRANC. 
  
TARIFFS AND IMPORT TAXES:  THERE ARE DUTIES ON IMPORTED GOODS.  MOST 
GOODS FACE A CUSTOMS CHARGE OF FIVE PERCENT OR MORE, BUT CERTAIN GOODS, 
LIKE FERTILIZER, ARE EXEMPT.  IN ADDITION, THERE ARE TAXES ON IMPORTS 
RANGING UP TO 66 PERCENT DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF PRODUCT.  KEY 
AGRICULTURAL INPUTS LIKE MOTOR PUMPS AND GRAIN MILLS ARE EXEMPT.  THERE 
ARE ADDITIONAL TAXES THAT MAY APPLY:  STATISTICAL TAX OF 4.5 PERCENT, 
VALUE ADDED TAX RANGING FROM 10 TO 24 PERCENT, AND A TAX ON PROFITS OF 
FOUR PERCENT. 
 
CUSTOMS VALUATION:  CUSTOMS ARE DETERMINED BY CIF (COST, INSURANCE AND 
FREIGHT) FOR IMPORTS AND FOB (FREE ON BOARD) FOR EXPORTS.  IMPORTS ARE 
VALUED BASED ON THE TOTAL COST OF THE GOODS, THE INSURANCE AND FREIGHT 
CHARGES.  EXPORTS ARE DETERMINED BY THE VALUE OF THE GOODS UPON ARRIVAL 
AT THE PORT OF ENTRY INTO NIGER. 
 
IMPORT LICENSES:  IMPORT COMPANIES MUST HAVE A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE 
ISSUED BY THE PREFECT (LOCAL ADMINISTRATOR) AND A CERTIFICATE OF PAYMENT 
OF DUES FROM BOTH THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND THE NIGERIEN COUNSEL OF 
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.  PLUS, ALL COMPANIES MUST BE ON THE TRADE 
REGISTRY, THE EMPLOYERS REGISTRY, AND HAVE A BUSINESS LICENSE.  IMPORT 
LICENSES ARE REQUIRED.  IMPORTING THE FOLLOWING GOODS REQUIRES SPECIAL 
AUTHORIZATION GRANTED BY THE MINISTRY OF COMMERCE:  PETROLEUM PRODUCTS, 
METAL CONTAINERS, SHEET METAL, BOTTLED CARBONATED DRINKS AND LEMONADE, 
BOTTLED BEER, WAX PRINT COTTON CLOTH, PAINT PRIMER (LIME), SOAP, NON-
ALCOHOL LIQUID PERFUME.  (NOTE:  THIS LIST LIKELY REFLECTS THE DESIRE TO 
PROTECT THE POSITION OF WELL-ENTRENCHED LOCAL IMPORTERS.)    
 
 
EXPORT CONTROLS:  EXPORTERS REQUIRE A LICENSE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF 
COMMERCE. 
 
TEMPORARY ENTRY:  THERE ARE NO FREE TRADE ZONES IN NIGER, THEREFORE, NO 
PROVISION FOR TEMPORARY ENTRY EXISTS. 
 
PROHIBITED IMPORTS:  FOREIGN COMPANIES ARE PROHIBITED FROM DEALING IN 
ARMS OR AMMUNITION, OPERATING AS AN IMMIGRATION OR EMIGRATION AGENT, 
OPERATING A PRIVATE POLICE OR GUARD FORCE, RUNNING A PRIVATE FINANCIAL 
PLACEMENT SERVICE, OR ORGANIZING RELIGIOUS PILGRIMAGES.   
 
STANDARDS:  NIGER CONVERTED TO THE INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZED SYSTEM OF 
PRODUCT CODES IN EARLY 1995.  
 
FREE TRADE ZONES:  NO FREE TRADE ZONES EXIST, ALTHOUGH THERE IS SOME 
TALK OF CREATING ONE IN MARADI, A MAJOR CITY IN THE TRADE WITH NIGERIA. 
 
SPECIAL IMPORT PROVISIONS:  THERE ARE NO SPECIAL IMPORT PROVISIONS, 
ALTHOUGH DURING THE MONTHS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING DEVALUATION OF THE CFA 
FRANC IN JANUARY 1994, THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWED THE DUTY-FREE IMPORT OF 
IMPORTANT FOOD ITEMS.  THOSE SPECIAL PROVISIONS WERE LIFTED IN APRIL OF 
1994. 
 
MEMBERSHIP IN FREE TRADE ARRANGEMENTS:  NIGER IS A MEMBER OF ECOWAS AND 
THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY UNION (UMOA), BOTH OF WHICH ARE DESIGNED TO 
INCREASE COOPERATION IN TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS BETWEEN COUNTRIES IN THE 
REGION, BUT WHICH FALL WELL SHORT OF BEING FREE TRADE ZONES. 
 
----------------------- 
VII.  INVESTMENT CLIMATE 
----------------------- 
 
A.  NIGER'S INVESTMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
A1  OPENNESS TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT 
---------------------------------- 
 
THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGER WELCOMES FOREIGN PRIVATE INVESTMENT AND 
CONSIDERS IT THE KEY TO RESTORING GROWTH TO NIGER'S ECONOMY.  THE 
GOVERNMENT HAS WELCOMED RECENT INVESTMENT PROPOSALS BY U.S. COMPANIES. 
 
UNDER THE 1990 INVESTMENT CODE (AND AMENDMENTS) INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENTS 
ENJOY TAX AND CUSTOMS EXONERATIONS AND EVEN, IN SOME CASES, EXEMPTIONS 
FROM THE VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT).  ALL INVESTORS BENEFIT FROM PERIODS OF 
SPECIAL TAX TREATMENT AND TARIFF PROTECTION WHICH VARY WITH THE LEVEL OF 
INVESTMENT.  THE INVESTMENT CODE CONTAINS NO PROVISIONS FOR SCREENING 
AND GUARANTEES EQUAL TREATMENT TO ANY FOREIGN INVESTOR, REGARDLESS OF 
NATIONALITY.  TOTAL FOREIGN OWNERSHIP IS PERMITTED IN ALL SECTORS EXCEPT 
THOSE FEW RESTRICTED FOR NATIONAL SECURITY PURPOSES LIKE ARMS AND 
MUNITIONS AND PRIVATE SECURITY FORCES. 
 
THE INVESTMENT CODE OFFERS ADVANTAGES TO SECTORS THAT THE GOVERNMENT 
DEEMS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT TO THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  
ENERGY PRODUCTION, MINERAL EXPLORATION AND MINING, AGRICULTURE AND 
RELATED ACTIVITIES, FOOD PROCESSING, FORESTRY, FISHING, LOW-COST HOUSING 
CONSTRUCTION, HANDICRAFTS, HOTELS, SCHOOLS, HEALTH CENTERS AND 
TRANSPORTATION. 
 
THE GREATEST BARRIERS TO INVESTMENT ARE THE SMALL SCALE OF THE ECONOMY, 
LIMITED BUYING POWER, LOW RATES OF CAPITAL ACCUMULATION, AND THE FACT 
THAT AN ESTIMATED TWO THIRDS OF GDP IS GENERATED BY INFORMAL 
MANUFACTURING AND TRADING.  IN ADDITION, TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE HIGH 
AND THE GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY CAN BE CUMBERSOME AND SLOW. 
 
A2 CONVERSION AND TRANSFER POLICIES 
----------------------------------- 
 
NIGER MAINTAINS AN EXCHANGE SYSTEM THAT IS FREE OF RESTRICTIONS ON 
PAYMENTS AND TRANSFERS.  INVESTMENT CAPITAL AND RETURNS TO CAPITAL CAN 
BE TRANSFERRED TO AND FROM NIGER THROUGH FRENCH BANKS.  NIGER IS A 
MEMBER OF THE CFA (COMMUNAUTE FINANCIERE AFRICAINE) ZONE ("FRANC ZONE") 
AND THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY UNION (ECOWAS).  THE CFA FRANC IS FULLY 
CONVERTIBLE INTO FRENCH FRANCS (FIXED AT CFA 100 TO ONE FRENCH FRANC).  
THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN EXCHANGE AND THE INTERNATIONAL 
INVESTOR COMMUNITY HAS NOT COMPLAINED OF DIFFICULTY IN THE TRANSFER OF 
FUNDS. 
 
OPIC HAS NO PROJECTS IN NIGER.  (SEE SECTION C BELOW)  THE ESTIMATED 
ANNUAL U.S. DOLLAR VALUE OF LOCAL CURRENCY USED BY THE U.S. MISSION IS 
APPROXIMATELY $4M.  THE CURRENT EXCHANGE RATE IS 500 CFA FRANCS TO THE 
DOLLAR.  HOWEVER, THE RATE FLUCTUATES WITH THE FRENCH FRANC TO DOLLAR 
RATE AND HAS RANGED FROM 530 TO 488 TO THE DOLLAR DURING THE FIRST HALF 
OF 1995. 
   
A3  EXPROPRIATION AND COMPENSATION 
---------------------------------- 
 
THE INVESTMENT CODE GUARANTEES THAT NO BUSINESS WILL BE SUBJECT TO ACTS 
OF NATIONALIZATION OR EXPROPRIATION, EXCEPT WHEN DEEMED TO BE "IN THE 
PUBLIC INTEREST" AS PRESCRIBED BY THE LAW.  THE CODE REQUIRES THAT THE 
GOVERNMENT COMPENSATE ANY EXPROPRIATION MEASURE WITH JUST AND EQUITABLE 
PAYMENT.  NO EXPROPRIATIONS HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN RECENT YEARS AND, GIVEN 
THE GOVERNMENT POLICY OF PROMOTING PRIVATE INDUSTRY, NONE ARE EXPECTED.   
 
A4  DISPUTE SETTLEMENT 
---------------------- 
 
NIGER HAS AN INDEPENDENT COURT SYSTEM WHICH RESPECTS AND PROTECTS 
PROPERTY AND COMMERCIAL RIGHTS.  THERE HAVE BEEN NO MAJOR INVESTMENT 
DISPUTES EITHER INVOLVING U.S. OR OTHER INVESTORS IN NIGER.  THE 
INVESTMENT CODE PROVIDES FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES AND 
INDEMNIFICATION EITHER BY ARBITRATION OR RECOURSE TO THE INTERNATIONAL 
CENTER FOR SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES ON INVESTMENTS WHICH WAS CREATED IN 
1965 BY THE WORLD BANK.   
 
A5  PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS/INCENTIVES 
--------------------------------------- 
 
PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS ARE NOT IMPOSED AS A CONDITION FOR 
ESTABLISHING, MAINTAINING OR EXPANDING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS.  
INCENTIVES DO, HOWEVER, BECOME MORE FAVORABLE AS THE SIZE OF THE 
INVESTMENT AND NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED INCREASE.   
 
THE INVESTMENT CODE OFFERS GENEROUS, VAT-INCLUSIVE TAX EXEMPTIONS, 
DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE BUSINESS.  AREAS COVERED BY POTENTIAL TAX 
EXEMPTIONS INCLUDE:  START-UP COSTS; PROPERTY, INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL 
PROFITS; SERVICES AND MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR PRODUCTION; AND ENERGY USE.  
EXEMPTION PERIODS RANGE FROM 10-15 YEARS AND ALSO INCLUDE WAIVERS OF 
DUTIES AND LICENSE FEES.   
 
A6  RIGHT TO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP AND ESTABLISHMENT 
------------------------------------------------ 
 
BY LAW AND IN PRACTICE, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC PRIVATE ENTITIES HAVE THE 
RIGHT TO ESTABLISH AND OWN BUSINESS ENTERPRISES AND ENGAGE IN ALL FORMS 
OF REMUNERATIVE ACTIVITY.  PRIVATE ENTITIES CAN FREELY ESTABLISH, 
ACQUIRE, AND DISPOSE OF INTERESTS IN BUSINESS ENTERPRISES.  LEGALLY 
ESTABLISHED PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES HAVE THE SAME ACCESS TO MARKETS, 
CREDIT AND OTHER BUSINESS OPERATIONS AS DO PUBLIC ENTERPRISES 
(PARASTATALS).  THE GOVERNMENT IS RECEPTIVE TO FOREIGN INTEREST IN 
ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP IN PRIVATIZED PARASTATALS. 
 
A7  PROTECTION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS 
--------------------------------- 
 
NIGER IS A MEMBER OF THE WEST AFRICAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION 
(OAPI) WHICH ESTABLISHES THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL 
PROPERTY AND APPROVES REQUESTS FOR REGISTRATION.  PROTECTION IS 
INITIALLY GRANTED FOR 10 YEARS AND IS RENEWABLE FOR UP TO ANOTHER 10 
YEARS.   
 
AS A SIGNATORY TO THE 1983 PARIS CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF 
INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY, NIGER PROVIDES NATIONAL TREATMENT UNDER NIGERIEN 
PATENT AND TRADEMARK LAWS TO FOREIGN BUSINESSES.  NIGER IS ALSO A MEMBER 
OF THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION AND A SIGNATORY TO THE 
UNIVERSAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTION.  TRADE SECRETS CAN BE ADEQUATELY 
PROTECTED WITHIN INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS AGREEMENTS IN NIGER. 
 
A8  REGULATORY SYSTEM:  LAW AND PROCEDURES 
------------------------------------------ 
 
THE 1990 REVISION OF THE INVESTMENT CODE REDUCED THE BUREAUCRATIC 
IMPEDIMENTS TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT.  THE GOVERNMENT NOW PROMISES 
AUTHORIZATION FOR AN INVESTMENT THREE MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF 
APPLICATION.  NEVERTHELESS, INVESTORS SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR DELAYS 
CAUSED BY THE PROCESS OF ACQUIRING INTERMINISTERIAL APPROVALS.   
 
WHILE EFFORTS CONTINUE TO MAKE THE TAX LAWS MORE TRANSPARENT, INVESTORS 
FIND IT USEFUL TO SPECIFY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS, SUCH AS TAX LIABILITY, 
IN INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS AGREEMENTS.   
 
AN UPDATED PETROLEUM CODE, BASED ON INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS, WAS ADOPTED 
IN 1992.  IN 1993 THE GOVERNMENT REVISED THE MINING CODE WHICH OFFERS 
SPECIFIC INCENTIVES BEYOND THOSE OFFERED BY THE INVESTMENT CODE:  FIVE 
YEAR INCOME TAX HOLIDAY FOR LARGE MINES (TWO YEARS FOR SMALL) AND 
EXEMPTION OF CUSTOMS DUTIES ON IMPORTED EQUIPMENT FOR USE IN EXPLORATION 
OR MINING OPERATIONS.   
 
A9  EFFICIENT CAPITAL MARKETS/PORTFOLIO INVESTMENT  
-------------------------------------------------- 
 
WHILE THE GOVERNMENT'S FINANCIAL POLICIES DO NOT PREVENT THE FREE FLOW 
OF CAPITAL, THE SMALL BANKING SECTOR CAN BE AN IMPEDIMENT.  ONLY THE 
MOST ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES OBTAIN BANK CREDIT AND THE COST OF CREDIT IS 
HIGH.  BANKS OFFER ONLY A LIMITED ARRAY OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS:  
LETTERS OF CREDIT AND SHORT- AND LONG-TERM LOANS.   
 
A10  POLITICAL VIOLENCE 
----------------------- 
 
THERE HAVE BEEN NO INCIDENTS IN RECENT YEARS OF POLITICALLY MOTIVATED 
DAMAGE TO DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS OR INSTALLATIONS.  THE 1995 PEACE 
SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TUAREGS ENDED AN ARMED 
CONFLICT THAT HAD BEEN GOING ON FOR FOUR YEARS IN NORTHERN NIGER.  THE 
GOVERNMENT HAS PLEDGED TO COMMIT SUBSTANTIAL RESOURCES TO THE NORTH 
WHICH SHOULD EFFECTIVELY OPEN UP THE AREA TO BUSINESS INVESTMENT AND 
TOURISM.  AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING, AGADEZ AND ARLIT (INCLUDING THE 
TWO URANIUM MINES) ARE WELL-POLICED AND SAFE, BUT OCCASIONAL BANDITRY 
OUTSIDE THE TWO CITIES CAN MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS.  THE U.S. EMBASSY IN 
NIAMEY RESTRICTS OFFICIAL TRAVEL NORTH OF THE CITY OF TAHOUA ON A 
PERMISSION BASIS ONLY.   
 
----------------------------------- 
B.  BILATERAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS 
----------------------------------- 
 
NIGER'S BILATERAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES DATES FROM 
SEPTEMBER 1962.  ALMOST ALL INVESTMENT IN NIGER, HOWEVER, IS FRENCH OR 
AT LEAST HAS SOME FRENCH PARTICIPATION.  THE INVESTMENT CODE MAKES NO 
DISTINCTION BETWEEN INVESTORS' COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN.  NIGER'S GOVERNMENT 
WELCOMES FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT, REGARDLESS OF COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.  
NIGER IS A MEMBER OF THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES 
(ECOWAS), THE WEST AFRICAN MONETARY UNION (UMOA), AND THE LOME 
CONVENTION. 
 
------------------------------------------------ 
C.  OPIC AND OTHER INVESTMENT INSURANCE PROGRAMS 
------------------------------------------------ 
 
WHILE NIGER IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE OPIC PROGRAM, OPIC HAS NOT BEEN INVOLVED 
IN ANY INVESTMENT TO DATE.  AREAS FOR POTENTIAL INVESTMENTS INCLUDE:  
GOLD MINING, MINERAL MINING AND PROCESSING, PETROLEUM PRODUCTION, 
AGRICULTURAL PROCESSING, MEAT PROCESSING, SEMI-FINISHED HIDES, AS WELL 
AS SMALL-SCALE MANUFACTURING. 
 
--------- 
D.  LABOR 
--------- 
 
THE SUPPLY OF SKILLED WORKERS, TECHNICIANS, AND PROFESSIONALS IS VERY 
RESTRICTED.  THERE ARE NO MORE THAN 65,000 SALARIED, FORMAL SECTOR 
WORKERS, HALF OF WHOM ARE EMPLOYED IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR.  THUS 95 
PERCENT OF THE COUNTRY'S POPULATION MAKES ITS LIVING FROM AGRICULTURE, 
HERDING, PETTY MANUFACTURING OR ARTISANAL PRODUCTION, AND INFORMAL 
TRADING.  WAGES ARE LOW AND THE POOL OF SKILLED LABOR IS SMALL. 
 
THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS ORGANIZED LABOR A KEY "SOCIAL" PARTNER IN 
RUNNING AND SEEKING TO DEVELOP THE COUNTRY.  LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS 
ARE GENERALLY GOOD. HOWEVER, THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR UNIONS 
(USTN) IS WELL-ORGANIZED AND HAS THE DEMONSTRATED ABILITY TO EFFECTIVELY 
SHUT DOWN THE COUNTRY WITH GENERAL STRIKES.  UNIONS HAVE REPEATEDLY 
DEMONSTRATED THEIR WILLINGNESS AND CAPACITY TO FORCE THEIR POLITICAL 
AGENDA UPON THE GOVERNMENT REGARDING CIVIL SERVANT WAGES.  LABOR LAW AND 
PRACTICE CONFORMS TO INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION (ILO) PRINCIPLES. 
 
----------------------- 
E.  FOREIGN TRADE ZONES 
----------------------- 
 
NIGER IS A LANDLOCKED COUNTRY.  WITH NO WINDOW ON THE SEA, GOODS ARRIVE 
ON THE SURFACE VIA THE PORTS OF COTONOU, ABIDJAN, LOME OR SOMETIMES 
LAGOS AND PORT HARCOURT OR ARE SENT AIR FREIGHT, USUALLY FROM PARIS.  BY 
VIRTUE OF A TRANSPORT AGREEMENT WITH BENIN, THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGER 
FAVORS COTONOU.  NIGER HAS NOT ESTABLISHED ANY FREE TRADE ZONES.   
 
-------------------------- 
F.  CAPITAL OUTFLOW POLICY 
-------------------------- 
 
SEE SECTION A2 - CONVERSION AND TRANSFER POLICIES 
 
------------------------ 
G/H.  FOREIGN INVESTMENT  
------------------------ 
 
SINCE THE URANIUM-LEAD BOOM ENDED IN THE EARLY 1980'S THERE HAS BEEN 
LITTLE FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN NIGER.  IN FACT, MANY EUROPEAN FIRMS HAVE 
EITHER REDUCED THEIR OPERATIONS OR PULLED OUT ALL TOGETHER.  HOWEVER, 
WITH DEVALUATION MAKING LOCAL INPUTS MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE AND WITH A 
STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM POSSIBLE BY LATE 1995, INVESTMENT 
POTENTIAL HAS IMPROVED. 
 
SEVERAL U.S. COMPANIES HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN PETROLEUM EXPLORATION.  EXXON 
AND ELF-AQUITAINE (WITH ELF AS THE OPERATING PARTNER IN NIGER) HAVE 
ADVANCED THEIR OIL EXPLORATION ACTIVITY TO THE DRILLING STAGE IN 
SOUTHEASTERN NIGER NEAR LAKE CHAD.  THEY DISCOVERED IMPORTANT, BUT NOT 
YET COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES OF OIL AND COMPLETED DRILLING IN THE FALL OF 
1994.  MEANWHILE, HUNT OIL COMPANY IS EXPLORING FOR PETROLEUM IN THE 
DJADO PLATEAU OF EXTREME NORTHEASTERN NIGER, AND IN 1995/1996 IS 
PLANNING SEISMIC TESTING. 
 
OTHER U.S. COMPANIES HAVE SHOWN INTEREST IN INVESTING IN GOLD MINING AND 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS. 
 
FRENCH BUSINESSMEN HAVE BEEN REDUCING THEIR OPERATIONS IN NIGER SINCE 
THE URANIUM BUST IN THE 1980'S, BUT THE MAJORITY OF EQUIPMENT, PARTS, 
AND MATERIAL INPUTS STILL COME FROM FRANCE.   
 
OFFICIAL STATISTICS SHOW NIGER'S SECOND LARGEST TRADING PARTNER TO BE 
NIGERIA AND THESE FIGURES DO NOT REFLECT NIGER'S SIZEABLE INFORMAL TRADE 
WITH ITS NEIGHBOR TO THE SOUTH.  SOUTH AND EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES HAVE 
EARNED A PLACE IN THE MARKET PLACE WITH FOOD STUFFS AND INEXPENSIVE 
MANUFACTURED GOODS (CHINA AND JAPAN).  NIGER IMPORTS RICE FROM PAKISTAN.  
NIGER ALSO HAS IMPORTANT TRADE RELATIONS WITH GERMANY, HOLLAND, UNITED 
KINGDOM AND, IN THE REGION, WITH IVORY COAST, GHANA, AND BENIN.   
 
 
FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN NIGER 
 
 
-------------------------------------------------- 
                      CAPITAL 
NAME       PRODUCT   (USD MILL) COUNTRY 
----       -------   ---------  ------- 
SONICHAR   COAL        35.8     FRANCE 
SOMAIR     URANIUM      8.2     FRANCE, GERMANY 
COMINAK    URANIUM      6.3     FRANCE, JAPAN, SPAIN 
BRANIGER   BREWING      2.7     FRANCE 
STIN       TELECOMM     2.5     FRANCE/NIGER  
SPCN       SOAP         0.4     NETHERLANDS 
SNDT       STEEL        0.4     FRANCE 
NIGERAL    ALUMINUM     0.4     PAKISTAN, FRANCE 
SNPA       CANDY        0.2     FRANCE        
-------------------------------------------------- 
TOTAL                  56.9 
-------------------------------------------------- 
 
TOTAL FOREIGN INVESTMENT WAS APPROXIMATELY  
2.4 PERCENT OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT IN 1993.  
 
---------------------------------- 
VIII.  TRADE AND PROJECT FINANCING 
---------------------------------- 
 
THE BANKING SYSTEM IS SERVED BY ONLY ONE LARGE INTERNATIONAL BANK, THE 
MERIDIEN-BIAO.  THE BIAO IS A REGIONAL BANK WITH CLOSE CONNECTIONS TO 
THE FRENCH BANKING SYSTEM.   BIAO CONFORMS TO INTERNATIONAL BANKING 
STANDARDS.  THE OTHER BANKS OPERATING IN NIGER ARE SMALLER:  SONIBANK 
(SOCIETE NIGERIENNE DE BANQUE), BCN (BANQUE COMMERCIALE DU NIGER) WHICH 
IS JOINTLY OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF NIGER AND LIBYA, AND THE AFRICAN 
NATIONAL BANK WHICH IS THE CORRESPONDENT BANK WITH CITIBANK. 
 
IN MAY OF 1995, THERE WAS A RUN ON THE MERIDIAN-BIAO NIGER BRANCH 
PRECIPITATED BY THE LIQUIDATION OF THE MERIDIEN INTERNATIONAL BANK IN 
PARIS.  LOCAL DEPOSITORS, CONCERNED THAT MERIDIEN-BIAO NIGER WOULD 
FOLLOW ITS FRENCH MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER INTO BANKRUPTCY, WITHDREW OVER 
$6M IN A FEW DAYS.  THE MINISTER OF FINANCE INTERVENED TO RESTORE PUBLIC 
CONFIDENCE AND THE OTHER BANKS OPERATING IN NIGER OFFERED SHORT TERM 
CASH LOANS TO HELP MERIDIEN-BIAO NIGER THROUGH THE INITIAL CRISIS.  
SINCE THIS INCIDENT, THE BANKING SYSTEM IN NIGER HAS RESUMED ITS NORMAL 
COURSE OF AFFAIRS. 
 
THE EXCHANGE SYSTEM IS FREE OF RESTRICTIONS ON PAYMENTS AND TRANSFERS.  
INVESTMENT CAPITAL AND EARNINGS ON INVESTED CAPITAL -- DIVIDENDS, 
INTEREST, LOAN AND LEASE PAYMENTS, ROYALTIES, AND FEES -- CAN BE 
TRANSFERRED TO AND FROM NIGER THROUGH FRENCH  
BANKS.   
 
IN RECENT YEARS SEVERAL BANKS HAVE CLOSED, AND THE REMAINING BANKS HAVE 
TIGHTENED LENDING CRITERIA.  ONLY THE MOST ESTABLISHED AND CREDIT-WORTHY 
BUSINESSES OBTAIN CREDIT.  THE COST OF CREDIT IS HIGH AND BANKS OFFER 
ONLY A LIMITED ARRAY OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS. 
 
IN THE PAST, THE EXIMBANK HAS PROVIDED FINANCING FOR EXPORT SALES TO 
NIGER. 
 
THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK HAS APPROVED THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS: 
 
-- 3 LIVESTOCK PROJECTS, $33M, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE. 
-- NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, $27M, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE. 
-- WATER SUPPLY CENTERS, $14M, MINISTRY OF HYDROLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT. 
-- SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE PREVENTION, $7M, MINISTRY OF HEALTH. 
-- STUDY TO DEFINE MINING STRATEGY AND ENCOURAGE INVESTMENT IN SECTOR, 
$1M, MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND  
FINANCE.  
 
IN ADDITION, A $1.5M FEASIBILITY STUDY ON A POTENTIAL DAM PROJECT ON THE 
NIGER RIVER AT KANDADJI HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE AFDB.  IF AFDB FUNDS 
ARE REPLENISHED  AND NIGER PAYS OFF ITS EXISTING DEBTS (SEE SECTION II), 
BIDS WILL BE TAKEN FOR THE STUDY.  
 
------------------- 
IX. BUSINESS TRAVEL 
------------------- 
 
BUSINESS CUSTOMS:  NIGERIEN CULTURE IS LARGELY TRADITIONAL AND MUSLIM 
AND MOST POTENTIAL BUSINESS PARTNERS ARE OBSERVANT MUSLIMS.  GETTING TO 
KNOW A FUTURE POTENTIAL BUSINESS PARTNER IS VERY IMPORTANT AND TAKING 
TIME FOR VISITS AND MEALS TOGETHER IS IMPORTANT.  RUSHING MATTERS IS 
UNSEEMLY AND MAY ONLY SERVE TO DESTROY CONFIDENCE IN THE FOREIGNER'S 
GOOD INTENTIONS. 
 
TRAVEL ADVISORY AND VISAS:  WITH A PEACE SETTLEMENT IN PLACE, THE 
NORTHERN REGION OF THE COUNTRY IS AGAIN SAFE AND OPEN FOR TRAVEL AFTER 
HAVING BEEN AFFECTED BY THE TUAREG REBELLION FOR THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. 
 
VISITING BUSINESS PEOPLE (AND TOURISTS) MUST HAVE A VISA ISSUED BY THE 
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF NIGER IN WASHINGTON, D.C.  VISAS ARE 
INITIALLY VALID FOR THREE MONTHS, BUT A SOJOURN PERMIT VALID FOR TWO 
YEARS AND RENEWABLE FOR ANOTHER TWO CAN BE OBTAINED ONCE IN THE COUNTRY.  
THE VISITOR MUST ALSO HAVE PROOF OF YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION. 
 
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS INCLUDE:  1 JANUARY, EASTER MONDAY, RAMADAN, 1 MAY, 
TABASKI (MUSLIM CELEBRATION USUALLY IN MAY DEPENDING ON THE LUNAR 
CALENDAR), 3 AUGUST (INDEPENDENCE DAY), MOULOUD (MOHAMMED'S BIRTHDAY), 
18 DECEMBER (PROCLAMATION OF THE REPUBLIC), AND CHRISTMAS.  
 
BUSINESS INFRASTRUCTURE:  THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF NIGER IS FRENCH, AND 
ALL POTENTIAL BUSINESS PARTNERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SPEAK IT.  
NIAMEY HAS A MODERN AIRPORT WITH FOUR FLIGHTS PER WEEK TO EUROPE AND 
CONNECTIONS TO THE U.S.  NIGER IS SERVED BY AIR FRANCE, AIR AFRIQUE, AIR 
ALGERIE, AIR MOROCCO, AND AIR ETHIOPIA.  MOST SIZABLE TOWNS WITHIN NIGER 
HAVE AIRPORTS, BUT DOMESTIC SERVICE IS RESTRICTED TO CHARTER SERVICE 
PROVIDED BY NIGERAVIA OUT OF NIAMEY.  THE NATION IS SERVED BY A NETWORK 
OF MODERN PAVED HIGHWAYS STRETCHING ACROSS THE POPULATED SOUTHERN REGION 
TO THE BORDER WITH CHAD.  BRANCH HIGHWAYS STRETCH NORTH TO TAHOUA, 
AGADEZ, AND ARLIT AND CONNECT SOUTH INTO NIGERIA, BENIN, AND TOGO AND 
WEST INTO BURKINA FASO.   
 
NIAMEY HAS ONE MODERN FOUR STAR HOTEL (FRENCH SOFITEL) AND SEVERAL 
LESSER ACCOMMODATIONS.  REGIONAL BUSINESS CENTERS HAVE ONLY TWO AND 
THREE STAR ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH ARE BELOW THE STANDARDS THAT MOST 
WESTERN BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO.  NIGER'S CLIMATE IS EXTREMELY 
HOT (100 - 120 DEGREES) FOR MOST OF THE YEAR AND WATER-BORNE AND AIR-
BORNE DISEASES ARE PREVALENT. 
 
 
                        APPENDICES 
 
 
A. COUNTRY DATA 
 
1. PROFILE 
 
POPULATION:  8.5 MILLION PEOPLE (1995 ESTIMATE). 
 
POPULATION GROWTH RATE:  3.3 PERCENT. 
 
RELIGIONS:  98 PERCENT MUSLIM, 1 PERCENT CHRISTIAN, 1 PERCENT ANIMIST.  
 
GOVERNMENT SYSTEM:  THE CONSTITUTION OF THE THIRD REPUBLIC WAS ADOPTED 
BY A VOTE OF THE ENTIRE POPULATION IN DECEMBER OF 1992.  THE 
CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHES A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM.  A UNICAMERAL PARLIAMENT 
WITH 83 MEMBERS AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC WERE INITIALLY ELECTED 
IN THE SPRING OF 1993.  NEW LEGISLATORS WERE ELECTED IN JANUARY OF 1995 
AND SUBSEQUENTLY A NEW PRIME MINISTER, HAMA AMADOU, WAS CHOSEN IN MARCH.  
CURRENTLY THERE IS A "COALITION" GOVERNMENT WHEREBY THE TWO MAJOR 
PARTIES SHARE POWER.  THERE IS A FREE PRESS, OPEN AND CRITICAL PUBLIC 
DEBATE, AND LABOR UNIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OPERATE FREELY.   
 
LANGUAGES:  FRENCH IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE AND THE LANGUAGE OF 
BUSINESS.  HAUSA AND DJERMA ARE ALSO WIDELY SPOKEN ALONG WITH OTHER LESS 
WIDELY SPREAD INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES. 
 
WORK WEEK:  40 HOURS MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.  THE WORK DAY IS 8:00 AM TO 
6:30 PM WITH A TWO TO THREE HOUR BREAK IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON.   
  
 
B. DOMESTIC ECONOMY   
 
-- GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:   
1993 -- 2.34 BILLION DOLLARS (285 CFAF/$). 
1994 -- 1.71 BILLION DOLLARS (500 CFAF/$). 
 
(THE CFA FRANC WAS DEVALUED 100 PERCENT IN JANUARY 1994 TO 100 CFA PER 
FRENCH FRANC FROM THE PREVIOUS 50 TO ONE RATIO.) 
 
-- GDP GROWTH RATE 1995: 6.7 PERCENT CITED BY MINISTRY OF FINANCE.  
    
-- GDP PER CAPITA:  1994 -- $201 
 
-- GOVERNMENT SPENDING AS PERCENT OF GDP: 16.2 PERCENT.    
 
-- INFLATION:  THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX ROSE 42 PERCENT BY AUGUST 1994 
AFTER THE DEVALUATION IN JANUARY.  SINCE THEN, INFLATION HAS SLOWED 
CONSIDERABLY.  IN JULY 1995, THE CPI HAD RISEN 45 PERCENT SINCE 
DEVALUATION ONE AND A HALF YEARS EARLIER.  OVER THE COURSE OF THE FIVE 
YEARS PRIOR TO THE DEVALUATION NIGER EXPERIENCED A FIVE PERCENT 
DEFLATION.      
 
-- UNEMPLOYMENT:  ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE 
POPULATION OF NIGER IS EMPLOYED IN THE FORMAL SECTOR WHILE AN ESTIMATED 
90% WORKS IN AND IS SUPPORTED BY SUBSISTENCE FARMING.  MOST OF THAT 
BASIC ECONOMY IS ONLY MINIMALLY MONETIZED.  MOST OF THE REMAINING 
WORKERS ARE PETTY TRADERS IN UNLICENSED AND UNTAXED INFORMAL ACTIVITY.  
 
FORMAL SECTOR EMPLOYMENT TOTALS ONLY SOME 65,000 JOBS, HALF OF WHICH ARE 
IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR.  ACCURATE STATISTICS EXIST ONLY ON THE UNEMPLOYED 
WHO CONTACT THE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE WHICH RECORDED APPROXIMATELY 25,000 
JOB SEEKERS IN EACH OF THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.  (NOTE:  THE CONSISTENCY 
OF THAT FIGURE SUGGESTS THAT IT REPRESENTS THE CAPACITY OF THE 
EMPLOYMENT SERVICE TO REGISTER JOB SEEKERS RATHER THAN THE ACTUAL NUMBER 
OF POTENTIAL UNEMPLOYED.) 
 
-- FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES:  $217.4M WHICH REPRESENTS 7.8 MONTHS OF 
CIF IMPORT COVER.   
(WORLD BANK) 
 
-- AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE FOR USD 1.00:  SEPTEMBER 1994 - 530 
CFAF/DOLLAR.  JANUARY 1995 - 530 CFAF/DOLLAR.  JULY 1995 - 490 
CFAF/DOLLAR. 
 
-- FOREIGN DEBT:  AFTER DEVALUATION AND PARIS CLUB AND OTHER DEBT 
FORGIVENESS, NIGER'S FOREIGN DEBT AS OF JULY 1995 TOTALED $1.41 BILLION 
(706 BILLION CFA FRANCS AT 500 CFAF/DOLLAR).  AT THE END OF 1993 FOREIGN 
DEBT WAS $2.45 BILLION (698.9 BILLION CFAF AT 285 CFAF/DOLLAR). 
 
-- DEBT SERVICE RATIO:  NIGER'S 1994 DEBT SERVICE RATIO IN PERCENT OF 
EXPORTS BEFORE DEBT FORGIVENESS WAS 174 PERCENT ($105M DEBT 
SERVICE/$60.4M TOTAL EXPORTS).  AFTER DEBT FORGIVENESS, IT STOOD AT 31 
PERCENT ($18.4M DEBT SERVICE/$60.4M TOTAL EXPORTS).   
 
-- THE USAID BUDGET FOR FISCAL 1995 WAS $16M, BUT  IS SLATED TO INCREASE 
TO $19M IN FISCAL 1996, SUBJECT TO CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.  U.S. 
MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO NIGER HAS BEEN ABOUT $200,000 PER YEAR FOR 
SEVERAL YEARS IN TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS.  
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ALSO PROVIDES HUMANITARIAN AID AND HAS 
FUNDED A SMALL BIODIVERSITY PROJECT.     
 
-------------------- 
C. TRADE: U.S./NIGER 
-------------------- 
 
NOTE: 
 
1.  VALUES ARE C.I.F. BASIS. 
2.  IMPORTS INCLUDE THOSE BROUGHT INTO COUNTRY DUTY-FREE UNDER BILATERAL 
OR MULTILATERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. 
 
TOTAL COUNTRY EXPORTS: 
1993 -- $236.8M (285 CFAF/$)  
1994 -- $60.4M (500 CFAF/$) 
 
TOTAL COUNTRY IMPORTS: 
1993 -- $242.5M (285 CFAF/$) 
1994 -- $188M (500 CFAF/$) 
 
U.S. EXPORTS 1993 IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS:  
(285 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
1.  WHEAT                                       1.92  
2.  AIRCRAFT                                    1.27 
3.  CANNED FISH                                  .87 
4.  MEDICINE                                     .82 
5.  SORGHUM                                      .71 
6.  DATA PROCESSING MACHINES                     .69 
7.  VEHICLE PARTS                                .51 
8.  MACHINES FOR EXCAVATION AND EXTRACTION       .44 
9.  MACHINE PARTS                                .42 
10. CIGARETTES                                   .29 
 
TOTAL US EXPORTS 1993                          13.49
  ----------------------------------------------------   

 
U.S. IMPORTS 1993 IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS:   
(285 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
1. COTTON                                       .48 
 
TOTAL US IMPORTS 1993                           .5 
---------------------------------------------------- 
U.S. EXPORTS 1994 IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS: 
(500 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR) 
 
TOTAL U.S. EXPORTS 1994                        6.07 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
U.S. IMPORTS 1994 IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS:   
(500 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR) 
 
 
TOTAL U.S. IMPORTS 1994                         .273 
 
 
 
D. INVESTMENT STATISTICS 
 
------------------- 
TRADE: NIGER/FRANCE 
------------------- 
 
NIGER IMPORTS FROM FRANCE 1993 IN $M:  
(285 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
1. MEDICINE                                    8.65
2. SUGAR                                       6.64 
3. TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT                3.04 
4. REFINED SULPHUR                             2.5 
 
TOTAL                                         74.03 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER EXPORTS TO FRANCE 1993 IN $M:   
(285 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
1. URANIUM                                    60.47 
2. AVIATION GASOLINE                            .56 
 
TOTAL                                         61.51 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER IMPORTS FROM FRANCE 1994 IN $M:   
(500 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR)   
 
TOTAL                                          48.7 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER EXPORTS TO FRANCE 1994 IN $M:   
(500 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR) 
 
 
TOTAL                                          15.4 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
-------------------- 
TRADE: NIGER/NIGERIA 
-------------------- 
 
NIGER IMPORTS FROM NIGERIA 1993 IN $M:   
(285 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
1. GASOLINE                                     9.16 
2. DIESEL FUEL                                  9.01 
3. SUGAR                                        3.96 
4. CEMENT                                       3.23 
5. PEALED FRUIT                                 2.89 
 
TOTAL                                          44.45 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER EXPORTS TO NIGERIA 1993 IN $M:   
(285 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION)  
 
1. CIGARETTES                                  13.18 
2. LIVESTOCK                                    7.80  
3. COTTON CLOTH (WAX PRINTS)                    7.74 
 
TOTAL                                          37.29 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER IMPORTS FROM NIGERIA 1994 $M:   
(500 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR)  
 
TOTAL                                           18.5 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER EXPORTS TO NIGERIA 1994 IN $M:    
(500 CFA FRANCS/DOLLAR) 
 
TOTAL                                           14.5 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
------------------ 
TRADE: NIGER/JAPAN 
------------------ 
 
NIGER IMPORTS FROM JAPAN 1994 IN $M 
(500 CFA/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
TOTAL                                            9.7 
---------------------------------------------------- 
 
NIGER EXPORTS TO JAPAN 1994 IN $M 
(500 CFA/DOLLAR -- CUSTOMS VALUATION) 
 
TOTAL                                           15.2 
 
---------------------------- 
E. U.S. AND COUNTRY CONTACTS 
---------------------------- 
 
(NIGER TELEPHONE/FAX COUNTRY CODE - 227) 
 
1.  CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE, D'AGRICULTURE, D'INDUSTRIE ET D'ARTISANT DE LA 
REPUBLIQUE DU NIGER 
 
  CONTACT:  MRS. AISSA DIALLO, DIRECTOR OF FOREIGN TRADE 
            ASSOCIATION 
  ADDRESS:  BP 209, NIAMEY 
  PHONE:    73-22-10/22-88 
  FAX:      73-46-68/46-20 
 
2.  MINISTRY OF COMMERCE 
 
  CONTACT:  MRS. DIA BRIGITTE, SECRETARY GENERAL 
  PHONE:  73-29-76 
  FAX:    73-22-50 
 
3.  MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND PLANNING (PROJECTS) 
   
  CONTACTS:  MR. ABDOU ISSAKA, SECRETARY GENERAL 
      MR. GATY SEYBOU, DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL 
  ADDRESS:  PO BOX 389, NIAMEY 
  PHONE:  72-20-37 
  FAX:    72-33-71 
 
4.  BIAO (INTERNATIONAL BANK OF WEST AFRICA) 
   
  CONTACT:  MR. KONE ALHASSANE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL 
  ADDRESS:  PO BOX 10350 
  PHONE:  73-31-01/34-31 
  FAX:    73-35-95 
 
5.  MINISTRY OF MINES & ONAREM (JOINT GOVERNMENT/PRIVATE MINING COMPANY)  
 
  CONTACT:  MR. MELLY ADAM, SECRETARY GENERAL 
  PHONE:  72-38-51 
  FAX:    73-58-67 
 
6.  SONIBANK (NATIONAL BANK OF NIGER) 
 
  CONTACT:  CHAKIB SIALA, DIRECTOR GENERAL 
  ADDRESS:  PO BOX 891, NIAMEY 
  PHONE:  73-46-43/47-40 
  FAX:    73-46-93 
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