2013 Investment Climate Statement
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
March 2013
Report

Openness to, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

Togo continues to implement business climate reforms to increase its openness to foreign investment. Throughout the 1980s, Togo provided a hospitable environment for such investment as a western-oriented, entrepreneurial hub in the region. In the early 1990s, investor interest declined due to pronounced political unrest, which also prompted the withdrawal of most international development support for a period of fifteen years (1993-2007). In 2007, largely free and fair legislative elections in October were followed by the formation of a new government in December. Over the next few years, the political and human rights situation stabilized, international donors and investors returned, and officials broke ground on numerous infrastructure projects.

In March 2010, Togo held a presidential election that was recognized by the international community as free and fair, despite some irregularities. Illustrating the rising confidence in Togo’s political stability, foreign investment continued its ascent, reflecting both Togo’s emergence from fifteen years of political and economic isolation and China’s rising influence.

Many challenges remain for improving Togo’s climate for private sector activity, particularly in such areas as administrative and judicial transparency and efficacy, property rights, and banking. International donor programs are supporting these efforts. The government continues to seek high-profile fora in which to promote its investment opportunities, particularly in transportation, agriculture, mining, and Togo’s free trade zone.

The World Bank Doing Business Indicator now places Togo at 156th out of 185 countries for ease of doing business, and 164th for business start-up. In 2011, the average number of days to form a business in Togo was 75, compared to 31 days in Benin, and 14 in Burkina Faso. The Doing Business Indicator provides a fair assessment of Togo’s place amongst its global peers, because it measures and aggregates ten relevant factors, including start-up costs, access to credit, import/export indicators, and enforceability of debt contracts. Although it has improved moderately from prior years, Togo remains well below average for all indicators due to a murky and inconsistent regulatory environment and a lengthy and cumbersome business formation process.

Conscious of its low standing in surveys such as the Doing Business Indicator, the government recently has demonstrated its willingness to enact targeted measures to improve the business climate. In January 2012, the National Assembly adopted a new investment code, which prescribes equal treatment for Togolese and foreign businesses and investors; free management and circulation of capital for foreign investors; respect of private property; protection of private investment against expropriation; and investment dispute resolution regulation. The new code meets West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) standards and, if enforced, may spark greater investment in the near future.

Moreover, the government has tasked the Business Formalities Center (CFE) with the creation of a true one-stop center for starting new businesses. The CFE’s stated objectives include reducing the procedures, delays, and costs that currently encumber the start-up process. Acknowledging the government’s progress on these issues, the World Bank recognized Togo in its 2013 Doing Business report as one of the nineteen countries that had facilitated business start-up in the prior year by simplifying registration formalities.

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Togo participates in zone-wide plans to harmonize and rationalize regulations governing economic activity within the Organization for the Harmonization of Commercial Law in Africa (OHADA), which includes the 14 CFA zone countries, the Comoros, and Guinea. A common charter on investment is one of the plans for that effort. Togo also is one of the region’s nations that directly apply community regulations without requiring an internal ratification process by the National Assembly.

Working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Togo has demonstrated that it can successfully implement commercial and fiscal reforms. In December 2010, Togo reached the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) completion point, which resulted in the forgiveness of US$1.8 billion in debt owed by the Togolese government. The debt relief under HIPC amounts to approximately 82% of Togo’s debt owed to international creditors, including Paris Club creditors, the World Bank, and other bilateral and commercial creditors. After completing the HIPC program, Togo is expected to service the balance of its international debt while focusing on economic recovery, Poverty Reduction Strategy Plans (PRSP), and sound financial management in the future.

Several development programs are underway that should improve the ability to invest and create new businesses over the next several years as they are fully implemented. The European Union is implementing a €125 million development program from 2008-2013 that is focused on good governance, including judicial and economic reforms, and infrastructure development that will reduce the cost of transportation.

The Chinese are investing heavily in infrastructure development and donating both money and equipment. China is a major financer of the Port of Lomé’s expansion and is building a new airport terminal in Lomé.

In 2012, U.S. assistance to Togo focused on encouraging progress towards democratization, public health and family planning, good governance, economic reform, and military and security training and assistance.

Key Indicators

If a scroll bar appears below the following table, swipe the table to move left/right of the dashed line.

Measure

Year

Index or Ranking

TI Corruption Index

2012

30 (128th out of 176 countries)

Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index

2012

48.8 (150th out of 177 countries)

World Bank’s Doing Business Report

2013

156th out of 185 countries

MCC Government Effectiveness

2013

-0.48 (22%)

MCC Rule of Law

2013

0.06 (56%)

MCC Control of Corruption

2013

-0.12 (44%)

MCC Fiscal Policy

2013

-2.4 (62%)

MCC Trade Policy

2013

56.7 (12%)

MCC Regulatory Quality

2013

-0.23 (35%)

MCC Business Start-Up

2013

0.765 (24%)

MCC Land Rights and Access

2013

0.31 (0%)

MCC Natural Resource Protection

2013

66.3 (56%)

MCC Access to Credit

2013

23 (50%)

MCC Inflation

2013

3.6 (83%)

Conversion and Transfer Policies

Togo uses the CFA franc (FCFA), which is the common currency of most of the Francophone countries of West Africa. The FCFA is fixed at a rate of FCFA 656 to 1 Euro, and the exchange system is free of restrictions for payments and transfers for international transactions. The new investment code provides for the free transfer of revenues derived from investments, including the liquidation of investments, by non-residents. There are no restrictions on the transfer of funds to other West African franc zone countries or to France. The transfer of more than FCFA 500,000 (about US$1000) outside the franc zone requires Finance Ministry approval. While approvals are routinely granted for foreign companies and individuals, delays are common despite the law’s stipulation that the process should be completed in two days. Togolese companies and citizens who reside in Togo are not generally allowed to hold bank accounts outside of the franc zone. Togo is examining removing the remaining restrictions on capital transfers so that it will be in compliance with WAEMU and ECOWAS harmonization requirements. Financial transactions within the franc zone can be more complicated than might be expected, due to country-specific administrative obstacles to inter-country banking activities.

Some American investors in Togo have reported delays of 30-40 days transferring funds from U.S. banks to banks located in Togo. This is reportedly because banks in Togo have limited contacts with U.S. banks to facilitate the transfer of funds.

Expropriation and Compensation

The Code of Investment protects against government expropriations. In conjunction with IMF and World Bank programs, the government of Togo is privatizing state-run enterprises such as banks and the phosphate mines.

The only expropriation of property in Togo was the 1974 nationalization of the French-owned phosphate mine.

Dispute Settlement

Enforcement of contracts can be slow because of overburdened and inefficient legal and judicial systems. The government, with assistance from the European Union, is implementing a justice modernization project to improve transparency and efficiency. Lack of transparency and predictability of the judiciary is an obstacle to enforcing property and judgment rights, and similar difficulties apply to administrative procedures. Despite the overall lack of transparency and predictability, some disputes are litigated more quickly than in the U.S.

On November 21, 2011, the Chamber of Commerce created the Court of Arbitration and Mediation, which should allow companies to more rapidly resolve their disputes through agreed mechanisms for alternative dispute resolution.

The current investment code allows the resolution of investment disputes involving foreigners through: (a) bilateral agreements between the government of Togo (GOT) and the investor's government; (b) arbitration procedures agreed to between the interested parties; or (c) through the offices of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States, of which Togo became a member in 1967. Togo has signed the Treaty for creating the Organization for the Harmonization in Africa of Commercial Law (OHADA). OHADA provides a forum and legal process for resolving legal disputes in 16 African countries.

There are no current bilateral trade policy disputes between Togo and the United States. The government accepts international arbitration of investment disputes.

Performance Requirements and Incentives

A 1995 finance law terminated all tax incentives and exonerations that were made available to foreign investors under the 1990 investment code.

Togo has a competition law that limits price controls and profit margin regulations. Despite the law, the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance and Economy set the price for products such as cement, gasoline, electricity, and water. Private competition in telecommunications was introduced in 1999, allowing better market-oriented pricing in that area.

The steps for receiving residence permits are well defined, but, in practice, foreigners seeking to legalize their status for long-term work and residence purposes have encountered significant administrative obstacles and delays. Issuance of such permits is the responsibility of the national police.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

The Government of Togo maintains that it respects the right of private property ownership. However, only Togolese and French citizens may directly own real estate in Togo. Other foreigners must request permission from the Prime Minister to own real estate.

In 2009, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIT) implemented a new system for business registration. The entire process was streamlined into a one-stop shop known as the Business Formalities Center (CFE). Despite the creation of the CFE, delays still occur due to the lack of cooperation between the several ministries required to approve an application.

According to the president of the CCIT, once the process is perfected, creating a business will require only 72 hours. The Chamber recently opened regional offices in all five economic regions of Togo, decreasing the burden on the CFE in Lomé. Entrepreneurs will now be able to create a corporation in their region, instead of travelling to Lomé.

As part of the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program, the Government of Togo is in the process of privatizing government-owned enterprises, but progress has been slow. Although the Government of Togo sold the Togolese Development Bank (BTD) to Orabank Group in September 2012, it is still reviewing bids to purchase shares in the three remaining state-owned banks: Togolese Bank for Industry and Commerce (BTCI), Togolese Bank Union (UTB), and International Bank for Africa (BIA). In the mining sector, the Government of Togo is working with the World Bank to privatize or enter into a joint venture with private companies to manage the phosphate mines and build a fertilizer factory.

Protection of Property Rights

Togo is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Cameroon-based African Intellectual Property Organization. The sale of pirated intellectual property is illegal in Togo; however, the Ministry of Justice will only prosecute habitual copyright violators.

Protection of real property is frequently contentious in Togo, as inheritance laws are a poorly defined mixture of civil code and traditional laws, resulting in inheritances that are frequently challenged. Only Togolese citizens, French citizens, foreign governments, and those granted citizenship by the judiciary are allowed to possess real property in Togo. Property disputes are further complicated by judicial opacity, which may favor national over foreign entities.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

Lack of judicial capacity and regulatory transparency is an obstacle to business development. Togo with assistance from development partners is implementing an overhaul of the legal and regulatory framework to address these shortcomings. The common business law treaty (OHADA), which entered into force on 1 January 1998, should have reduced judicial uncertainty across the region; however, in actual practice it has had little impact in Togo.

Togo continues to make progress with its plans to rationalize the tax system and its administration, bringing about both simplification and revenue enhancement. The value-added tax has been unified at 18 percent (as opposed to the previous two-rate structure of 7 percent and 18 percent). The government’s published corporate tax rate is 37% or 40% of profits based on the type of business. According to the World Bank, the effective corporate tax rate is 27%.

Revised Customs administrative processes, which include an online one-stop clearing system, entered into effect on January 1, 2008. They appear to have improved import and export streamlined procedures and allowed for greater transparency. While a formal evaluation is not available, the IMF and private operators have stated that the new customs processes at the port and borders are better than those in other West African nations.

In December 2012, the National Assembly passed legislation to combine the Tax General Directorate (DGI) and the Customs General Directorate (DGD) into a single institution, the Togolese Revenue Authority (OTR). According to the Government of Togo, the OTR will streamline the revenue collection system, reduce administrative costs, and increase revenues through improved efficiency. The OTR also is designed to broaden the tax base and bring parts of the country’s informal economy into the tax system. The IMF supports the establishment of the OTR and has agreed to provide technical assistance to the Government of Togo in conjunction with its implementation.

Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investments

Togo’s political upheavals from 1991 to 2005 weakened its reputation as a regional banking center. Private banks and the government are working to regain the reputation.

EcoBank Transnational Incorporated, the largest West African Bank outside of Nigeria, is headquartered in Togo. Other major regional banks in Togo are Banque Atlantique, the ECOWAS Development Bank, and the West African Development Bank.

Togo’s three remaining government-owned banks (BTCI, UTB, and BIA) are being privatized. The call for tender-offers was completed in 2011, and the Government of Togo is still considering the bids received. The state-owned banks held weak loan portfolios characterized by high exposure (about one-third of total bank credit) to the government, the phosphate company, and cotton parastatals.

In addition to bank privatization, the government created a National Agency for the Promotion and Guarantee of Small and Medium Business Financing (the Agency). The Agency encourages lending to small and medium-sized businesses by guaranteeing loans made by participating banks to borrowers approved by the Agency.

Togo relies on the UEMOA Regional Stock Exchange in Abidjan, Ivory Coast to trade equities for Togolese public companies. Togo's monetary policy is managed by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

Competition from State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)

State-owned enterprises control or compete in the phosphate, cotton, telecommunications, banking, utilities, and grain purchasing markets. The national phosphate company is the sole mining company that controls the phosphate mines. In December 2011, the government requested proposals for private investment in and management of the phosphate mines and construction of a fertilizer plant.

Domestically produced cotton is bought and sold by the state-controlled New Cotton Company of Togo, which was organized in 2009 following the dissolution of the 100% state-owned Togolese Cotton Company (SOTOCO). SOTOCO went bankrupt due to the government’s mismanagement and failure to pay cotton growers for their harvest. As a result, Togo’s production fell dramatically, from 187,000 metric tons in 2003 to 25,000 in 2009. Under the New Cotton Company, cotton production has rebounded, reaching 80,000 metric tons in 2012 and forecast to exceed 130,000 tons annually in 2013 and 2014, and 150,000 in each of the following five years. The Ministry of Agriculture maintains that the New Cotton Company of Togo will be privatized, although the government currently holds 60% of shares, while private owners hold only 40%.

Union Togolaise de Banque, Banque Internationale pour l’Afrique au Togo, and Banque Togolaise pour le Commerce et l’Industrie, are still owned by the Government of Togo, which is working in consultation with the IMF to privatize them as part of the HIPC program. The state-owned banks compete with private banks such as EcoBank and Banque Atlantique.

In the telecommunications, sector state-owned Togo Telecom and TogoCel compete with a private cell phone company, MOOV, an Emirati group.

Public utilities such as the Post Office, Lomé Port Authority, Togo Water, and the Togolese Electric Energy Company (CEET) hold monopolies in their sectors. The Port of Lomé is the government’s major source of revenue and is undergoing two expansion projects by Bolloré and MSC. MSC’s affiliate Lomé Container Terminal will operate the container terminal once its project is complete.

The National Agency for Food Security (ANSAT) is a government agency that purchases cereals on the market during the harvest for storage. During the dry season, when cereal prices increase, ANSAT is supposed to release cereals into the markets to maintain affordable cereal prices. ANSAT sells cereals on international markets when supplies permit.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate responsibility is not generally addressed in Togo, other than as it relates to corruption and criminal activity. The awareness of corporate responsibility is starting to improve with Togo’s administrative reforms. New construction projects are required to address environmental and social impacts.

American owned ContourGlobal Togo S.A. follows standard U.S. corporate responsibility practices, including outreach programs to local villages where they supply water to children, some electricity, and flood abatement resources.

Political Violence

Since 2007, Togo has experienced peaceful elections and the political environment has stabilized. The last major political violence occurred in 2005. Like many African countries, there are periodic protests by political parties, students, and unions that are usually peaceful, but can sometimes result in damage to government buildings and cars. Americans are not specific targets of violence.

Togo is a republic headed by President Faure Gnassingbé, son of the late General Gnassingbé Eyadéma. Eyadéma was president from 1967, when he assumed power in a military coup, until his death in early 2005. Eyadéma and his political party, with the strong backing of the armed forces, dominated politics and maintained control over all levels of the country's highly centralized government. Eyadéma’s death in 2005 triggered a wave of unrest that resulted in many deaths and the further division of Togolese society. Controversial presidential elections in April 2005 brought Faure to power. Since his accession, Faure has based his leadership on ending Togo's long political crisis and isolation from the donor community by engaging the opposition in a political reform process.

In 2006, the Government of Togo and the opposition entered into a Global Political Agreement, whereby they agreed to enter into a national dialogue for political reforms. Serious attempts at such dialogue only began in 2011, but a combination of government intransigence and a fissiparous opposition have conspired to defeat them all so far, raising questions about participation in upcoming legislative elections in March 2013. Legislative elections were last held on October 14, 2007. Although there were some irregularities, they were declared free and fair by the EU, the Africa Union, ECOWAS, and other international and domestic observers. As a result of the successful conduct of the legislative elections, the international donor community re-engaged with Togo.

In March 2010, President Faure Gnassingbé was reelected as president. Like the 2007 legislative elections, this election was declared free and fair, despite some irregularities, by the EU, the Africa Union, ECOWAS, and other international observers. President Faure has tried to differentiate himself from his father by allowing a free press and an active, though divided, opposition.

Corruption

Although Togo has government organizations that are supposed to investigate corruption, it is a common business practice and remains a problem for businesses. In 2011, the government effectively implemented procurement reforms to increase transparency, with the hope of reducing corruption. New government procurements are now announced in a weekly government publication. Once contracts are awarded, all bids and the winner are published in the weekly government procurement publication. Other measurable steps toward controlling corruption include joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and establishing public finance control structures and a National Financial Information Processing Unit.

As in many African countries, providing cash and other gifts to expedite business transactions remains a common practice. Such “donations” or “gratuities” reportedly result in shorter delays for obtaining registrations, permits, and licenses, thus resulting in a competitive advantage for companies that are willing and able to engage in such practices.

The police, gendarmes, courts, and an anti-corruption committee are charged with combating corruption in Togo. A few Togolese officials have been prosecuted and convicted of corruption-related charges, but these cases are relatively rare and appear to involve mostly those who have in some way lost official favor.

Bilateral Investment Agreements

The United States and Togo signed the U.S.-Togo Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations in 1966, which entered into force a year later in 1967. This Treaty provides for protections of U.S. and Togolese investors. Togo has signed many economic, commercial, cooperation, and cultural agreements with its foreign aid donor countries, including France, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, and more recently with China, India, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs

OPIC provides political risk insurance and financing for ContourGlobal’s 100-megawatt power plant in Togo. The plant began operation in the fall of 2010 and provides electricity for the country. OPIC also provides insurance for the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited through Steadfast Insurance Co. The French government agency COFACE provides investment insurance in Togo under programs similar to those offered by OPIC. Investment insurance through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is an option to explore.

Labor

Togo has an increasing pool of qualified university graduates, many of whom cannot find employment in their field, and a sizeable population of unskilled workers. There are shortages of workers with intermediate technical skills and practical experience.

The agriculture sector is the largest employer in Togo. Generally, unemployment and underemployment are high, and young Togolese trying to enter the formal sector job market have difficulty finding work. The adult literacy rate is about 57 percent. Most Togolese speak French (the official language). Few people speak fluent English, though many have a rudimentary knowledge.

In December 2006, the government passed a revised labor code that provides for improved treatment of workers. The code also forbids the worst forms of child labor and prohibits discrimination against women, disabled persons, and those with HIV/AIDS. A Child Code was passed in July 2007 which further protects the rights of children.

The minimum wage is FCFA 35,000/month (approx. US$70) for unskilled industrial workers. Non-wage costs (e.g., social security and medical costs) run about an additional 40 percent on top of wages. Togo was unique among the CFA countries in not introducing a general wage increase after the CFA devaluation in 1994, thus keeping labor costs low.

After a period of vigorous organized labor activity in the early 1990s, mostly in support of democratic political transition and capped off by a nine-month general strike in 1992-93, labor union activity has been relatively muted. In January 2009, health workers went on strike to protest work conditions; the minister of health promised to meet their conditions. However, nothing was done. In December 2009, culinary employees at the Sarakawa Hotel went on a 48-hour strike demanding year-end bonuses. The strike ended when management agreed to their demands. In June 2010, Togolese taxi drivers went on strike when the government raised the price of unleaded gas from 505 FCFA per liter to 580 FCFA per liter. The government was able to negotiate a resolution with the taxi drivers by reducing the amount of the price increase. Medical personnel went on strike in June 2011 for a week, demanding better work conditions and pay. The strike ended when the government agreed to most of their demands.

More recent examples of union activity include actual or threatened 48-hour strikes by Togo Telecom employees in October 2012 and public workers in January 2013. While the former event was quickly resolved through negotiations with management, the latter prompted an emergency session of the National Assembly, which instituted a policy of periodic raises for government workers. In response, the union confederations representing public employees called off their planned strikes, although two smaller unions (representing hospital workers and technical training professors) broke away and held small demonstrations.

Foreign Trade Zones / Free Trade Zones

Togo’s deep-water port serves as a customs-free transshipment facility for goods passing through the Port of Lomé to other ECOWAS countries. The Port is an instrument of regional integration and trade development for Togo and neighboring countries, especially Sahelian nations such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

In 1989, the Togolese government approved an export-processing zone (EPZ) or free-trade zone, locally known as SAZOF. Advantages of the free-trade zone include a less restrictive labor code and the authorization to hold foreign currency-denominated accounts. The law requires free-trade zone firms to employ Togolese on a priority basis, and after five years foreign workers cannot account for more than 20 percent of the total workforce or of any professional category. Free-trade zone firms may, with government permission, sell up to 20 percent of their production in Togo. While there are only two free-trade zone sites, investors may locate outside of these areas and still enjoy free-trade zone status.

As of December 2012, approximately 65 firms are operating in the EPZ in the services and manufacturing sectors, with 12,000 employees and with a turnover of CFAF 171 billion. The authorities forecast sustained growth over the next three years, expanding to 80 firms and 15,000 direct-hire employees by the end of 2015. Not all enterprises are located in the zone itself; some have the authorization to operate outside the physical zone, but under the same legal regime.

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics

Companies from more than a dozen countries (including China, India, Lebanon, France, Germany, Italy and the United States) invest in Togo. According to the World Bank, Togo received US$53.8 million in net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in-flows in 2011, down from US$125 million in 2010.

Major foreign investors:

United States

  • Contour Global: 100-megawatt power plant operating in Lomé. Signed a US$146 million non-recourse financing agreement with OPIC.
  • Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc.: U.S. security company that provides security services in Togo.
  • There are also a few individual U.S. citizens operating small businesses in sectors such as import-export and retailing.

France

  • Togo Equipements: French-owned distributor of CAT (aka Caterpillar) heavy equipment
  • AGS Togo- Frasers International: French-owned international moving and storage company.
  • Air France: French airline.
  • Air Liquide: majority French-owned medical gas company.
  • Allo Hygiene: majority French-owned cleaning company.
  • Assurances Generales du Togo (AGF): French-owned insurance company.
  • Bolloré Africa Logistics au Togo: French-owned logistics company and leading operator of public-private partnerships in the port and rail sectors. Recently financed US$600 million project to add third quay to Port of Lomé.
  • CFAO -Cica Togo: Distributor of Toyota and Mazda vehicles. Also involved in household equipment and general trading. Working capital CFA 1.2 billion, investment CFA 145 million. Owned 70 percent by the French Group Pinaut.
  • Groupement d'Entreprises de Transports Maritimes et Aeriens (GETMA): French-owned maritime and air transportation agency.
  • Mercure Hotel Sarakawa and Ibis Hotel Lomé: The French Group Accor took over and renovated Hotel Sarakawa, now known as the Hotel Mercure-Sarakawa, and Hotel Le Benin, now known as Ibis Hotel Lomé Centre.
  • Nouvelle Industrie des Oleagineux du Togo (NIOTO): Manufacturer of edible oils (primarily cottonseed oil). The company bought two former government-owned oil plants under the privatization program. NIOTO's initial capital of CFA 1 billion was owned principally by the French company CFDT (Compagnie Francaise pour le Developpement des Fibres Textiles).
  • Societe Togolaise de Produits Marins S.A. (STPM S.A.): Majority French-owned seafood processor/exporter that sells fish, shrimp, and lobster. Investment of CFA 430 million.
  • Satom-Togo: Public works/construction company. Capital CFA 5 million. Subsidiary of French company Satom.
  • Societe Togolaise de Boissons (STB): Soft drink distributor. Previously a parastatal venture with German participation, the French group Castel bought controlling shares in both STB and the Brasseries du Benin (BB), the beer brewery and soft drink processor, under the privatization program.
  • Societe Togolaise des Gaz Industriels (Togogaz): Fabrication and sale of industrial and medical gasses and equipment. Capital CFA 1.1 billion. Owned 60 percent by the French company Air Liquide, but the government's shares are sold on the Abidjan stock exchange.
  • Togocrus Sarl: French-owned processor/exporter of seafood. Investment of CFA 545 million.
  • UAC Togo: Import-export company. Capital CFA 853.2 million, owned 78 percent by French company UAC.
  • Udecto: Construction and public works. Capital CFA 160 million. Owned 73 percent by French company Campenon Benard.
  • Total Togo: Petroleum products distribution. Capital CFA 511 million. Has 45 service stations in Togo and about 47 percent of the market. Total took over Mobil Oil's retail distribution in Togo in 2006 (29 service stations, about a 30 percent market share, capital of CFA 376 million).

Germany

  • BENA Development/Marox: Agriculture and livestock raising, delicatessen, restaurant. German family-owned business. Capital CFA 200 million.
  • Hoechst Togo: Chemical and agricultural product sales. Company is 75 percent owned by Hoechst AG, Germany. Capital CFA 5 million.

Denmark

  • Fanmilk: The Danish dairy company Emedan has a long-term lease on the former government-owned dairy products company as part of the privatization program.
  • Industrie Togolaise des Plastiques (ITP): Joint investment by the Danish company FMO, the Danish development agency IFU, and the Dutch company Wavin. Total capital of new company CFA 735 million.
  • Atlantic Produce: Exporter of tropical houseplants. Investment of CFA 260 million.
  • Maersk Line Shipping: Danish Shipping Company with a presence at the Port of Lomé.

China

  • China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited (CMHI): One of two equal stakeholders in joint venture that owns Togo’s Lomé Container Terminal, SA (LCT), a Togolese company that is constructing a major (US$420 million) expansion of Lomé’s deepwater port.

Norway/Germany

  • Societé des Ciments du Togo (Cimtogo): Cement production company. Previously 50 percent owned by the Scandinavian company Scancem, Cimtogo bought out the government's shares in 1996. Scancem was recently purchased by a German multinational, but continues to operate locally under Norwegian management.

Ethiopia

  • ITT Co. Sarl: Majority Ethiopian-owned manufacturer of automotive seat covers and shoes. Investment of CFA 103 million.
  • ASKY Airlines: Ethiopian Airlines has a management contract and holds equity in this regional air carrier.

South Korea

  • Amina Togo S.A.: Producer of synthetic hair. Investment of CFA 342 million.
  • Sofina Sarl: Manufacturer of fishing nets and ropes. Investment of CFA 13 million.
  • Nina: Producer of synthetic hair. Investment of CFA 115 million.

India

  • Boncomm International Togo: Indian-owned clothing manufacturer. Exports to Europe and USA.
  • Ramco: The largest and most profitable chain of supermarkets and electronic stores.
  • Wacem (West Africa Cement Company): Originally developed as a joint Togolese-Ivoirian-Ghanaian cement production venture, the factory floundered due to management dissention and losses on Cedi-denominated sales in Ghana. An Indian firm has resurrected the company, which produces clinker (limestone) for Cimtogo and is beginning to manufacture and market cement itself.

Italy

  • ENI: Oil company conducting offshore petroleum exploration.

Belgium

  • Umco Sarl: Belgian-owned manufacturer of leather watchbands and other leather goods. Investment of CFA 32 million.

Germany/Belgium

  • Brussels Airlines: Subsidiary of Lufthansa operated out of Brussels with service to Lomé.

United Kingdom

  • Garage Hellel: BMW dealer. Also local representative for Jeep vehicles.
  • Shell Togo: Owned by British subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.

Switzerland

  • Mediterranean Shipping Company: Geneva-based, privately owned international shipping company that has committed to be the anchor customer for Lomé’s new container terminal.

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