Equatorial Guinea champions trade facilitation in Central Africa

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Estela Nse Mansogo, country manager, Equatorial Guinea, Centurion LLP

PRESS OFFICE: Centurion Law Group

In 2015 Equatorial Guinea made public the efforts to reposition herself in the global trade arena through the improvement of the investment climate in the country. A major component of the government’s programme is the adoption of a single-window system for the registration of companies and corporations. This move will unquestionably improve Equatorial Guinea’s Ease of Doing Business ranking with the World Bank and ultimately increase trade inflows into the country.

As a preliminary step in their quest to reform the business environment, the prime minister’s office has issued an executive order as of 7 September dramatically reducing the registration process from 15+ procedures (as accurately portrayed in the World Bank’s Doing Business indicator) to four simple steps:

1. Notary legalises company statutes
2. Register public deed in the Commercial Registry
3. Apply for tax registration
4. Apply for registration with the corresponding ministry (based on business purpose)

This middle ground will have an enormous impact on an individual’s and foreign company’s ability to establish companies, corporations, partnerships and branches in Equatorial Guinea easily and affordably. The time frame for completing the registration process will be massively reduced from a period of 120+ days to 10 days. Most importantly, the costs of registering a business will automatically shrunk by almost 45%.

The country manager of Centurion Law Group, Estela Nse Mansogo, said: “This change presents a historic opportunity to the local, regional and international business community to invest in a country holding vastly untapped natural resources, with an extraordinary commitment to diversify its economy and momentous industrialisation plans. I applaud the government’s move that is consistent with recommendations from the world bank, the business community and civil society. It will also help create an enabling environment, drive up local content, and help SMEs to take advantage of the opportunities in the oil industry. Our Firm stands ready to assist, guide and counsel every single individual and company with a business interest in Equatorial Guinea and Africa.”

Centurion is a pan-African corporate law conglomerate with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, and offices in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Accra, Ghana; and Douala, Cameroon, specialising in assisting clients that are starting or growing a business on the continent.

The objective of the government of Equatorial Guinea is to make it easy and attractive for entrepreneurs to register their businesses and comply with laws and regulations by simplifying the administrative process and stimulating investment in key sectors.

About Centurion

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Centurion is a leading pan-African legal and business advisory group with extensive experience in oil and gas law. The group provides outsourced legal representation and covers a full suite of practice areas for its clients, including arbitration and commercial litigation, corporate law, tax and anti-corruption advisory and contract negotiation. Centurion specialises in assisting clients that are starting or growing a business in Africa.

For more information about the Centurion team and the group’s practice areas and offices, visit www.centurionlawfirm.com.

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