The Gabon’s ‘Multi-Product Special Economic Zone’ developed by Olam International Ltd., speaks volumes about the Government’s commitment to encourage foreign investors to exploit vast natural resources of the Central African country.
Gabon is a country bestowed with 22 million hectares of forest, out of which 12.5 million has logging potential. The most important species, representing more than 25per cent of the resources is Okume-undoubtedly the best quality timber used to manufacture plywood and railway sleepers. No wonder, timber, of late, has emerged the most significant sector from Gabon’s economic point of view. It provides employment for as much as 28per cent of Gabon’s population, a fact that reflects the availability of ample manpower for the future projects.
The Gabon SEZ project, jointly developed by the Government of Gabon and Olam International, Singapore is located about 27 Km from Libreville. The development of phase I over 427 hectare got completed in fast track time frame of 12 months with FDI commitment of over $ 980 million by 37 companies. In addition, the Government of Gabon, for economic development as well as sustainable resource utilization, has initiated phasing out of export of unprocessed logs from 2010 onwards, there is 100per cent ban on log exports and processing has become mandatory. This has encouraged the local transformation of wood, which has made it possible to create high value added products originating from this sector.