With a GDP of 48 billion USD, or 1,938 USD per capita, Ivory Coast has a relatively high economic output compared to many other countries in the West African region. After years of political and economic instability, Ivory Coast's economy has been growing steadily since the mid-2000s, and it is now one of the fastest growing in Africa.
Its economy is heavily market based, and relies significantly on the agricultural sector, which contributes over 28% of its total GDP. The main agricultural products are coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil, all of which are exported around the world. At present, Ivory Coast is one of the world's largest exporters of these products, and is the fourth largest overall exporter of goods in the sub-Saharan African region.
In recent years, the service sector has also become more important to the economy, and it now accounts for over 50% of GDP. The main driver of the service sector is tourism, which has grown rapidly in Ivory Coast since the 1970s, mainly due to its close relationship with France.
Expatriates working in Ivory Coast tend to do so in senior positions in agriculture, forestry, and fishing, as well as in tourism or export. There is also an increasing demand for English teachers.
Permits for work in Ivory Coast are issued by the Ministry of Security, and should be applied for before you move to the country. Work permits for Ivory Coast come packaged with residence permits, and usually last for no longer than one year, after which they must be renewed. After it has been renewed once, an application for a new work permit must be submitted.
In order to obtain a permit to work in Ivory Coast, you will need to provide evidence that you have already secured work in the country; your prospective employer will be required to submit copies of your contract and employment forms to the Ivory Coast Labor Office.
You will also need to provide an up-to-date, clean criminal record and medical certificate from a certified practitioner. In some cases, these may need to be translated into French. It is advised that expatriates wishing to work in Ivory Coast contact their local embassy or consulate for more information.
Expatriates working in Ivory Coast will be required to pay income tax on their earnings. Those that qualify as residents of Ivory Coast, i.e. those that live there for more than 183 days in the fiscal year, will pay income tax at Ivory Coast rates on their worldwide income.
Expatriates living and working in Ivory Coast for less than 183 days in a year will only pay tax at Ivory Coast rates on income earned in the country.
Ivory Coast has a progressive, sliding scale tax system, where the amount you pay depends on the total amount you earn. In 2014, these rates progressed between 10% and 60% for wage income and from 2% to 36% for other types of income. The rate is furthermore adjusted according to the number of family members.