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New investment law to attract more business, Somali President

Sep 24, 2015 Since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in 2012, Somalia has been making a fragile recovery from the ruins caused by two decades of fighting and political instability.

In line with its developmental strides, the Somalia government is seeking to reform legislation and improve security in a bid to woo foreign investments. In the country’s first economic review in a quarter of a century, the International Monetary Fund said its economy has expanded by 3.7 percent in 2014.

Speaking in an interview, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia said his administration is reviewing a new set of investment law that would encourage investors:

“Somalia has been, since we came to the office, Somalia has been working very hard to attract direct foreign investment in the near future, to make that dream true we have been preparing for the legal framework that makes this happen on the ground, so the Somali investment law has reviewed and it has been further improved to take the same level of other regularly frameworks that exist in the world like the international financial institutions and international investment organizations, private investment company, individual countries and funds that want to invest in Somalia.”

With new buildings sprouting up and several investors returning, the financial landscape in Somalia is gradually changing. According to the United Nations, a record 5 million head of camels, sheep, cattle and goats were exported to the Gulf and other Arab markets last year.

“Somalia has exported agricultural products, livestock products, fisheries. These are some of the new drives of our economy and this is mainly done by private sector. We have been exporting livestock in livestock in life, and meat, hides and skins in the leather industry. We have been exporting fish and other marine products. We have been exporting agricultural products like sesame, banana and many more fruits. So this is good indication that Somalia is moving and this is a very small step but it is very positive step,”

Despite the many positive strides, Somalia still has several hurdles to overcome, primary amongst which is rebuilding a banking system from scratch. Also investors still face challenges in Mogadishu due to frequent bomb and gun attacks from an al-Qaeda affiliated militant group.

Commenting on these challenges, the president said:

“Somalia has been using informal economy for so long more than two decades. Our economy was very informal and institutions were not operating enough and the capacity was very limited but in the last three years we have taken a lot of reforms in the public finance management this has improved the economy, security has improved, public finance management has improved,” 

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