MEB and CEMA mission accomplished strengthening business ties with Djibouti


A Trade Mission from 7 to 9 February to Djibouti, organised by Monaco Economic Board (MEB) in partnership with CEMA (Club des Entrepreneurs Monégasques en Afrique) was very successful thanks to the support of the Monaco Embassy in Djibouti and the two countries’ consulates. The objective was to further the relationship initiated during a Djibouti delegation visit to Monaco in May 2022. The trip furthered rapprochement between these two business hubs and confirmed the interest in Djibouti by Monaco companies to reinforce their presence in Africa, a continent of the future and growth.

Although the flight to Djibouti required a stopover it was well worth it for the dozen Monegasque entrepreneurs keen to explore opportunities in this the only French-speaking country in East Africa, still not well known despite its many assets.

Located on the second busiest shipping route at a crossroads of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Europe via the Suez Canal, Djibouti is a natural gateway to COMESA (Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa) comprising over 400 million inhabitants.

The country boasts a deep-water port complex, a dry dock and free port zones as it aspires to become a hub for goods and services. Its monetary system, pegged to the US dollar guaranteeing its reliability is part of its appeal and development of the financial sector. Stable politics, diversity and being open to the world and relatively modest in size recall characteristics of the Principality. Such advantages have created a favourable climate for doing business in, underpinned by the ambitious prospects of its Vision 2035 plan.

Monaco in the forefront to talk business as Saudi Arabia opens up
Meeting with members representing Invest Saoudi From left to right: Yaarub Aldaghither / Faisal Aljarboa / Photo: Monaco Economic Board

The trip centred round a Business Forum organised by Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh, President of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce and his dynamic team, under the aegis of the President of the Republic H.E. Mr Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and honoured with speeches by Prime Minister H.E. Mr Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed; Minister of Trade and Tourism, Mohamed Warsama Dirieh; and Governor of the Central Bank, Ahmed Osman. It was a privilege for the Monaco delegation to have the country presented to them by such high ranking officials, thanks largely to H.E. Mr Ayeid Mousseid Yahya, Djibouti’s Ambassador to France and Monaco and the countries’ two Consuls, Jordana Remon-Coubèche and Jean-Jacques Robin.

The Monaco visitors from sectors ranging across legal, security, ICT, import/export, transport, space and financial services met other entrepreneurs with potential to become partners, customers or just useful contacts for the future at a B2B session of targeted meetings. 

To conclude, the Monaco delegation had an opportunity to hear further presentations by two key players in the region – the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA) and the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI – confirming Djibouti’s position as the gateway to East Africa.

Other more informal networking opportunities included a tour of some of the port’s facilities (one of the top three Africa ports) and free zones, Climate Observatory and telecommunication facilities, which combined to showcase Djibouti’s potential and growing strategic importance in the region and to meet key economic players.

Guillaume Rose, MEB Executive Director General, and Frédéric Geerts, CEMA President, had an audience with the President of the Republic, H.E. Mr Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, accompanied by the Honorary Consuls of the two countries, Jordana Remon-Coubèche and Jean-Jacques Robin. / Photo: Monaco Economic Board

Another highlight was the honour paid to MEB Executive Director General, Guillaume Rose, and CEMA President Frédéric Geerts in being granted an audience with President of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Mr Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. Discussions focused on trade opportunities and strategic cooperation on scientific research, particularly on climate and the environment.

It was not a first step in relations between the two countries, a meeting having been arranged for the Foreign Affairs Advisor to the President of Djibouti, Alexis Mohamed, to meet MEB and CEMA directors on a visit to Monaco in September 2021. Three months later during Covid, a webinar was arranged for Monaco businesses to gage the country’s potential. The positive feedback led to MEB hosting a Djibouti delegation in September 2022 when an agreement was signed with the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, which led to this Trade Mission. After all these privileged meetings, the building blocks are in place to forge trade relations built on friendship and lasting prosperity for both sides.

Source: Monaco Economic Board

Related Articles