The Government has identified certain priority industrial sectors for furthering economic development. Special incentives will be offered to encourage the growth of these sectors. The following activities fall into the category of "priority business:"
- Fishing and fish processing
- Livestock and forestry
- Mining and metallurgical industries
- Water and energy production industries
- Tourism and Hotel industries
- Housing development
- Human and animal health promotion enterprises
- Vocational and technical training enterprises
- Cultural promotion enterprise.
Investment opportunities exist in mineral exploration, telecommunications and computers, water resources development, livestock and other ago-industries, food processing, and the importation of vehicles and new and used clothing. Procurement contracts with USAID and other development organizations offer other opportunities to sell agricultural, construction, irrigation, telecommunications, computer, and other equipment and services.
Through the Leland Initiatives, USAID helped the Malian telephone parastatal to establish an Internet node, the first in any French-speaking African country. President Konaré signed a second Leland initiative agreement during his visit to the U.S. in November 1997. One dividend of this project has been the opportunities opened to Internet service providers, foreign or domestic; there are now four firms offering this service.
There are no discriminatory requirements against foreign investors. Foreign investors do not face unfavorable tax treatment, denial of license, discriminatory import or export policies, or tariff or non-tariff barriers.
The investment code:
The investment code, issued in March 1991, offers incentives to domestic and foreign investor to invest in business ventures in Mali by shortening the application process necessary to establish a business enterprise in Mali (maximum 45 days turnaround time). It also favors investments to promote handicrafts, exports, and labor-intensive businesses. New investments will enjoy income tax exemption (from 5 to 8 years depending on the enterprise) and property tax exemption for 5 to 10 years. (These exemptions are granted on a case-by-case basis and apply to new start-ups and take-over of existing state enterprises which are being privatized.) Businesses which are located outside of Bamako are offered an additional 2 to 4 years of income tax exemption. The code also recognizes a special status of "export zone industries"; i.e., those which exports most of their production on the inputs used in production, including capital equipment. They are moreover authorized to sell up to 20 percent of their products locally provided that they pay tax on those sales.
In addition the mining code offers incentives for mineral exploration and extraction, including a two year period in which investors may explore for minerals without being required to commit to mining operation, and tax-free treatment for certain categories of equipment and fuel during the exploitation phase.
Mali is eligible for Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) financing and insurance programs as well as for Export/Import Bank (Exim Bank) coverage for short term and medium term loans for undertaking private U.S. product sales in Mali. Mali is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Center for Investment Disputes Resolution (ICIDR) sponsored by the World Bank.