Somaliland: Business Confidence Survey Shows Surge in Investment

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Conference participants follow proceedings keenlyBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Investment in medium-sized enterprises more than doubled between 2011 and 2012.

This information is as per the outcomes of a Business Confidence Survey that was jointly conducted by the Ministry of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture with support from the USAID funded Partnership for Economic Growth.

The nationwide survey report was released during the launch of the first ever Somaliland Business Conference-SBC that shall be held annually henceforth at the Ambassador hotel in Hargeisa.

The SBC launch that pooled participants from a wide spectrum of the business community also saw the introduction of a Somaliland Business guide that is under preparation for release in 2013.

Participants who included the 13 business ventures that are beneficiary thus sharers of the $800,000 grant availed by USAID through the Partnership for Economic Growth program were also provided insights into the Business guide which once ready shall not only facilitate the ease of investor (current and prospective) accessing factual information on relevant laws and business opportunities but in reaching suitable thus profitable investment decisions as well.

The business confidence survey which queried a varied range of areas related to a conducive environment for commercial activities as well as constraints revealed that 2.2% of business in the country had an initial capital investment of one million dollars and above while 43% invested $10,000 and below with the remainder chipping in $100,000 downwards.

A sanguine Minister of Commerce Hon Abdirizaq Ahmed Khalif informed that the survey which shows a surge from 7.5% to 17% for enterprises with an initial investment of $100,000 – $500,000 in Hargeisa between 2011 and 2012 is proof that the private sector is performing better than expected.

Said he, “This year’s survey shows that businesses and investors are becoming more confident in the economy and we expect that their confidence will continue to grow and that investment will continue to increase”

Below are the verbatim excerpts of a press statement released by USAID

The three Partnership Partners

Business Confidence Survey Shows Surge in Investment in 2012

Hargeisa —The 2012 Business Confidence Survey, released this week, shows that investment in medium-sized enterprises more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. The Somaliland Ministry of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture conducted the survey with USAID support.

“This year’s survey shows that businesses and investors are becoming more confident in the economy,” said Somaliland Minister of Commerce Honourable Abdirizaq Ahmed Khalif. “We expect that their confidence will continue to grow and that investment will continue to increase.

The survey found that investment in medium sized-enterprises of $100,000 – $500,000 had more than doubled in Hargeisa between 2011 and 2012 (from 7.5 percent of respondents to 17 percent).

Nearly 300 local businesses from all regions of Somaliland responded to the annual survey– including women entrepreneurs and youth-owned businesses as well as investors from the Somali Diaspora. The survey queried respondents about the ease of starting a business, perceived availability of skilled labour, the quality of infrastructure, security, and laws and regulations for businesses and investors.

Previous surveys had shown that businesspeople and potential investors were particularly concerned about weak legislation. In response, in 2012 USAID also provided assistance to the Ministry of Commerce to review and amend laws governing commerce and investment.

Support for these activities comes from USAID’s Partnership for Economic Growth program, a $13 million initiative that supports stabilization by investing in the local economy and strengthening the livestock, farming, and energy sectors.

For more information, please contact Marybeth McKeever at mmckeever@usaid.gov or visit http://eastafrica.usaid.gov/en/home 

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