Equatorial Guinea has officially launched its long-awaited one-stop shop, an initiative that will allow investors and corporations alike to set up a business in sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth largest oil producer in only seven days.
The move has been interpreted as a sign that Equatorial Guinea’s government is listening to international investors’ concerns over the country’s bureaucracy and regulations, which have prevented it from exploiting its full investment potential over the past few years.
The one-stop shop will provide suitable information support for future entrepreneurs and enable them to start with business operations in the shortest time possible.
One-stop shop solutions allow businesses to deal with all permits and processes required to set up a business at a single counter, hence reducing bureaucracy and eliminating red tape. These have been gradually implemented across the world and Africa, resulting in increased local and foreign investments, and promoting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) growth.
Equatorial Guinea’s step is expected to be very positive for business and puts the country at par with its regional and global competitors. It further signals the country’s political will to reform, and echoes President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s commitment to see the National Economic Development Plan: Horizon 2020 being fully implemented.
“Our clients are excited about this. As a firm, we work to encourage investment into the country, ensure investors can have a seamless transition and operate well,” commented Santiago Olo Lima, Director for Equatorial Guinea at Centurion.
“The one-stop shop is a welcomed and timely development as Equatorial Guinea expects billions of investments during its Year of Energy 2019 and is a crucial step towards achieving the country’s economic diversification and poverty reduction goals under its National Economic Development Plan: Horizon 2020,” he added.
Equatorial Guinea has doubled efforts to reach out to the international community and boost its attractiveness to investors in recent years. The country joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2017, and is now spearheading the LNG 2 Africa initiative, a drive that seeks to create new markets for Africa’s natural gas.