Advertised government tenders or other business opportunities that may be of interest to the U.S. business community can be found at http://www.gouv.bj/, (click on the link “appels d’offre”)
The U.S. Commercial Service (USFCS) includes Benin in its global network of trade specialists dedicated to supporting U.S. commercial interests around the world. The Lagos Regional Office of USFCS and your local U.S. Export Assistance Center are your starting points for doing business in Benin. We offer comprehensive export promotion assistance through a variety of programs and services.
Services for U.S. Companies
The U.S. Embassy offers a range of services to help American companies do business in Benin. Services are provided on a case-by-case basis. Our most popular services are listed below; additional services may be available upon request.
- International Partner Search: The International Partner Search (IPS) is designed to help companies explore foreign markets and find local partners. The IPS identifies prescreened local companies that are interested in working with your company.
- Gold Key Service: The U.S, Embassy arranges business meetings with pre-screened contacts, representatives, distributors, professional associations, government contacts, and/or licensing or joint venture partners.
- Trade Disputes and Advocacy: Support for companies bidding for a government or semi-government project Benin.
Additional Information to Consider
Investing in Benin
Getting Started and Maintaining Existing Investments
If you are considering investment in Benin, you may wish to consider a number of steps as you get started:
- Research the Market: If you are planning an investment, Benin’s embassy in Washington, D.C. may organize events and provide information on investment in Benin.
- Utilize Existing Resources: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation works with the U.S. private sector to help U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad.
- Network with the Private Sector: Organizations in the United States such as the Corporate Council on Africa provide excellent sources of information and networking opportunities.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy: The U.S. Embassy wants to stay in touch with current investors. Here are steps you can take to keep us involved:
- Register: If you are an active investor in Benin, let us know.
- Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed.
- Meet with our economic and commercial teams to discuss any issues.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
U.S. Government agencies organize and support a broad range of events for U.S. businesses interested in selling their products and services overseas.
Trade events include webinars and seminars on the fundamentals of exporting, counseling and other support at U.S. and international trade shows, recruitment of foreign buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows, and trade missions of U.S. delegates to foreign markets for one-on-one meetings with potential customers and partners. A trade events calendar is available via export.gov.
Businesses should be particularly cautious about unknown Beninese “companies” promising high volume business deals. A number of perpetrators of sophisticated internet scams (especially demands for fraudulent advance fees) originating in other countries use Benin as a base to defraud U.S. companies and citizens with “419” scams, so named for section 419 of a Nigerian law aimed at combating financial crime. Potential U.S. investors and exporters may request U.S. Embassy Cotonou’s economic and commercial section to verify proposed business partners before finalizing a commitment.