flag Somalia Somalia: Investing

FDI in Figures

According to UNCTAD’s 2021 World Investment Report, FDI inflows to Somalia reached USD 464 million in 2020, up slightly from USD 447 million in 2019, despite the global economic and health crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The FDI stock stood at USD 3.6 billion in 2020. In 2021, global FDI flows rebounded strongly, but FDI flows to African countries (excluding South Africa) rose only moderately (UNCTAD’ Investment Trends Monitor). Strong instability in the country remains a major concern, although Al-Shabab's losses and its current weak position are positive signals for investors. The capital Mogadishu is currently experiencing a construction boom mostly fuelled by Turkish investment, signalling a certain optimism that Somalia is improving. The sector that attracts the most FDI is food processing (bananas and fish) and, more recently, the telecommunications sector. Germany and the United States are the main investors in Somalia. The country launched a new investment promotion strategy in 2020 that outlined 10 priority areas for foreign investment, including livestock, fisheries, energy and manufacturing.

Somalia has a substantial potential in natural resources: agriculture, livestock, fishing and hydrocarbons. If the stabilisation of the country takes place, this wealth as well as the telecommunications sector could attract many investors. Moreover, Somalia has a young population, a diaspora willing to invest in the country and, with the longest coastline in Africa, is strategically located to become a potential regional economic hub. However, Somalia still ranks last (190th out of 190 economies) in the latest available Doing Business report issued by the World Bank and ranks as the third most corrupted country in the world (178th out of 180 economies) according to Transparency International. The numerous factors that impede FDI include ongoing violence and political unrest, a largely informal economy, high corruption levels and lack of transparency, a lack of central authority jeopardising rule of law, and lack of basic infrastructure. Foreign firms have shown some interest in investing in the hydrocarbons sector and ports infrastructure, and recently the government has strengthened its regulatory framework to boost hydrocarbons exploration. Recent studies suggest potentially important offshore reserves. Although the US has invested more in the country, Germany has the largest subsidiary of a transnational corporation in country (German Agro Action Office) (AfDB).

 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Somalia United States Germany
 
Foreign Direct Investment 201920202021
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 447464456
FDI Stock (million USD) 3,151.53,615.54,071.0
Number of Greenfield Investments* 3.01.00.0
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 291050

Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data

Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.

 

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Tax Rates

Sales Tax
10% (standard rate).
Company Tax
35%
Withholding Taxes
Dividend: 5%/15%/35% Interest: 10/35% Royalties: 10%/35% (Reduced rates apply under a double tax treaty)
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers
No mandatory regime
Other Domestic Resources
Somalian Ministry of Finance
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 
 

Individual Taxes

Tax on individuals Progressive rates from 0 to 10%
 
 

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Investment Opportunities

Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Fontier Market Network, Tenders in Africa
African Tenders
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Useful Resources
Contact the British Embassy in Somalia.
Business Portal for Africa
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022

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