Gabon is a picturesque and natural resources rich country in West Central Africa. Gabon is one of the Africa’s most stable countries since its independence in 1960. With astonishing resources: Oil, Manganese (2nd largest producer in the world for high grade), tropical forest with more than 400 identified species and some major infrastructures, Gabon is the new face of the progressive and prosperous Africa. With a strategic location at the heart of Africa, Gabon offers an ideal gateway for entry to a regional market of 250 million consumers. This is why several multinationals and visionary SME have been attracted by its great assets and have decided to establish their business here.
GABON FOREST … home of Okoumé
Forestry has been one of the driving sectors of the economy. Boasting the second highest forestry potential in Africa, Gabon’s forests covers 22.8 million hectares, i.e. 88% of the country’s land surface. Gabon’s reserves of exploitable timber includes 130 million cubic meters of Okoumé and 270 million cubic meters of other hardwood species.
Forestry is, and will remain, one of the pillars of Gabon’s economic and social development. Gabon has a low deforestation rate, forests rich in valuable timber species and among the best prospects for a healthy and sustainable forest industry. The timber industry is already the largest private sector employer, employing 28% of the working population, and represents an extremely significant growth potential.
OKOUMÉ… world’s best materials for rotary cut veneers
Commercial forest harvesting in Gabon began as early as 1892, but only in 1913 was Okoumé, Gabon’s most valuable wood, introduced to the international market. Gabon supplies 90% of the world’s Okoumé, known worldwide for the production of veneer &plywood.
Aucoumeaklaineana (Angouma, Gaboon, or Okoumé) is found in equatorial West Africa in Gabon and surrounding countries. Okoumé is a medium-sized hardwood tree growing to 30-40 m tall with a trunk diameter in the range of 1 to 2.5 meters. Its attractive appearance means that it is often used decoratively as the top surface veneer in panelling and furniture. It is a species of a very even colour, good bonding performances and good compatibility with finished products.
GABON SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (GSEZ) … a competitive business environment
The Special Economic Zone, spread over 1126 ha at Nkok (20 Km from the capital city of Libreville), is the outcome of a shared vision of Gabonese Republic and Olam to effectively master the transition toward industrialization of Gabon. Africa is opening up to investments and Gabonhas clearly taken the lead in attracting investors by doling out number of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. SEZ at Nkok currently has 96 industrial investors from 17 nationalities.Out of 96 investors, 30 are from India. The industries making SEZ as base are mainly industries into wood transformation (saw mill, veneer and plywood). As on date, 36 companies are already under production and another 30 companies are in different stages of construction. It is expected that more than 65 companies will be under commercial production by Q3 of 2017. Greenply, India has recently started production in its veneer unit. This plant will cater to both European and Indian markets.