Djibouti's Biggest Companies
Djibouti has attracted a lot of investment over the last decade and it has become an important hub of transportation and banking in the region. The country's Free Zone was created in 2004 to create a regional platform for logistics, import, storage and re-export, particularly transit business from Ethiopia. The main economic activities in Djibouti center around the Port, the railroad linking Djibouti to Addis Ababa, which is the only line to central and southeastern Ethiopia, the international airport and the banking and commerce sectors.
Djibouti is a country with a rapidly growing and developing economy that has been attempting to follow the lead of the economic growth and diversification of Dubai, a country with which it has important business links. The GDP of Djibouti is approximately 982 million dollars. It is considered to be a stable country in an unstable region of the world and it has become a very attractive location for business, due to the large investments that have been made into the infrastructure and the government's desire to encourage business.
The largest employers in Djibouti are the government, including the electricity and telecommunications providers, Port Djibouti and the international airport. The most important sectors of the economy are telecommunications, with large companies including Djibouti Telecom, banking, and the port. The Banking and insurance industry produce about 12.5 percent of the GDP, while public administration is responsible for 22 percent of the GDP. Djibouti has a large community of foreign expatriates, who play an important role in the economy.
Djibouti is an arid country in which agriculture is not an important part of the economy. It produces less than 3 percent of the country's GDP. Djibouti is also lacking in natural resources. Although it does have some mineral resources, the only one to have been particularly exploited is salt, which has been extracted at Lac Assal.
Djibouti's main asset is its location. Its proximity to the large Ethiopian market, and its place on one of the most important shipping routes in the world, which links the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, Ocean has been incredibly important for the country's economy. About 60 percent of the commercial ships that transport goods around the world pass through the waters of Djibouti. The country's international Port has become an increasingly important center for shipping and transshipment, and particularly as a destination port through which much Ethiopian trade must pass. Many of the exports that leave Djibouti through its port have originated in Ethiopia or elsewhere. Djibouti relies a lot on invisible sources of earnings, notably through harbor dues and transit taxes.
One of the most important companies in the Djibouti economy is Jafza International, which is a subsidiary of the huge Economic Zones Worldwide. Jafza and its subsidiaries run the Djibouti Ports and the free zone and are also responsible for the management of the international airport. EZW, in turn, has its own parent company, Dubai World, which has invested more than 800 million US dollars in Djibouti. Its subsidiaries are involved in many different aspects of the Djibouti economy. They include DP World which operates Djibouti Port, Dubai Customs Worldwide which was involved in the modernization of the Djibouti customs, and Nakheel Hotels and Resorts run a five star hotel and resort.
Daallo Airlines is currently the biggest airline in Djibouti, but its competitor Djibouti Airlines is also expanding as the tourism sector in Djibouti grows.
The Russian company Gazprom Energy is just one of the international businesses to have set up a base in Djibouti, having created a local subsidiary, the Djibouti Bunkering Company in the Djibouti Free Zone to provide fuel for ships.
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