Trade and Handicraft
In the sector of trade, the free enterprise economy adopted by the 2nd Republic has resulted in establishing a policy aiming at a greater revitalization of this activity which can support and stimulate national production efforts.
Domestic Trade: Trade liberalization through privatized distribution and commercialization functions and by the elimination of public enterprises has made space for fair and effective competition in business transactions.
The monopolization system has been abolished. The government and the Chamber of Commerce together determine the rules of the game and see to it that these are applied. In accordance with the national prices policy matching the objectives of the government, national and foreign economic players are no longer subject to an imposed programme of importation or exportation.
The Department of Commerce has also taken measures to ensure the freedom of pricing, putting emphasis on supplying the country with basic consumer products or convenience goods. Trading is not restricted except when it relates to strategic or hazardous products or violates rules and regulations on health and on moral standards.
The procedure for importing goods is channelled through the Central Bank (BCRG), the importer’s local bank and a registered private company charged with inspecting the consignment prior to embarkation.
This necessary control gives rise to the issuance of a verification certificate whereby the merchandise need only customs declaration along with shipment and transport documents.
With the exception of the pre-embarkation control, the procedure symmetrically follows the opposite way in the case of export. Foreign exchange is obtained through the instituted interbank foreign exchange auction market.
Foreign Trade: The objective assigned to foreign trade is to ensure the commercialization and promotion of export goods.
The strategy designed to reflate agricultural produce exports aims at increasing production and opening outlets on sub-regional and international markets.
Since 1985, the exportation of agricultural produce has increased significantly thanks to the reactivation of coffee, cotton, oil palm and fruit and vegetable production. Even though export volumes remain still low comparatively to potentials, a noticeable progression has been observed.
With the progress made in areas like coffee, rubber plantations, fruits and cotton, medium-term prospects are seemingly encouraging. Private commercial banks presently established in Guinea are:
- The Société Générale de Banques en Guinée (SGBG) with two branch offices (Conakry and kankan). Their customers represent about 25%;
- The International Bank for Trade and Industry in Guinea (BICIGUI) with eleven branches. They have the largest share of the market, about 38%;
- The International Union of Banks in Guinea (UIBG) with about 12% of the market share;
- The Islamic Bank of Guinea (BIG), the first private bank to open in Guinea;
- The Morocco- Guinean Popular Bank (BPMG) with a market share close to 7%;
- Ecobank, the last banking system to be established.
The development of this sector is languid despite the great potentials of the country’s rich cultural diversity.
Major activities in the sector are : dyeing, shoemaking, sculpture/woodcarving, pottery and cabinet making. Products deriving from these activities are mainly limited to supplying the domestic market. Nonetheless, because of their variety and remarkable quality, they are very much liked by tourists and they arouse great interest during international trade fairs.