Benin Trade Relations with the EU

By | July 23, 2022
Basic data
Capital Cotonou
Population 11.72 crores
Language French
Religion Christianity 48%
State system presidential republic
Head of State Patrice Talon
Head of government Patrice Talon
Currency name West African Franc (XOF)
Time shift 0h
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 15.4
Economic growth (%) 2.4
Inflation (%) 3.1
Unemployment (%) ON

It is an accredited country under the jurisdiction of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Nigeria.

The Republic of Benin (République du Bénin) is a coastal state in West Africa. It is bordered to the west by the Republic of Togo (651 km of common borders), to the north-west by the Republic of Burkina Faso (386 km of common borders), to the north by the Republic of Niger (277 km, the border mainly consists of the Niger River) and to the east by Nigeria (809 km of common borders borders). In the south, the country is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Benin of the Atlantic Ocean, the coast is 121 km long.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Benin, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

Benin is currently a unitary republic, practicing a presidential system of power with the existence of multiple political parties. The head of government is the president. The government is appointed by the president and is responsible only to him. The President is elected in direct elections for five years, with a maximum of two terms. On April 11, 2021, businessman Patrice Talon was re-elected to the position of president. The president is elected in direct elections for five years, but at most two electoral terms. The counterweight to the power of the president is a unicameral parliament consisting of 83 deputies elected for a four-year term.

Trade relations with the EU and the Czech Republic


  • Business Relationships
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The EU is one of the most important donors of development aid in Benin, and it is also one of the most important trade partners.

In 2019, EU countries imported €531 million worth of goods from Benin and exported €52 million worth of goods. In 2020, EU countries imported €579 million worth of goods from Benin and exported €61 million worth of goods.

Trade exchange with the EU (million EUR)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 632.8 528.3 578.8 ON ON
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 41.9 52.1 61.5 ON ON
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -590.9 -476.2 -517.3 ON ON

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

We see the main obstacles to even wider mutual economic and business cooperation in ignorance of the territory and ways of doing business in it, distance from the Czech Republic, still low knowledge of the French language and a certain caution or reluctance to engage in an unknown (and for many risky) territory for a long time. Czech companies face strong competition from French and Chinese companies. As part of supporting the development of bilateral cooperation in key areas such as agriculture and food industry, projects were implemented in 2015 and 2016 to support economic diplomacy in these areas. With the active help of the Czech company AMJ Group, which is already established in Benin, the products of Czech food and agricultural companies were presented as part of the presentations. The events were met with great popularity and satisfaction.

Cashew nuts, pineapples and fine pottery were the main imported commodities during this period. Mainly processor and disk drives, used clothes and cotton fabrics were exported.

Trade exchange with the Czech Republic (million EUR)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.0 0.0 0.0 ON ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.0 0.0 0.0 ON ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.0 0.0 0.0 ON ON

Source: CZSO

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

Post-Cotonou Partnership Agreement – ​​signed in April 2021 as a continuation of the agreement between the EU and African countries. It regulates, among other things, economic relations and development issues.

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs): The EU is one of the most important donors of foreign development aid and an important trade partner in the region. Benin has not yet signed the agreement, but benefits from free access to the EU market.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

  • Agreement on technical and economic cooperation between the government of the Czechoslovakia and the government of the People’s Republic of Benin (Cotonou on 14/03/1979, not published in the collection of laws) • Agreement between the government of the Czechoslovakia and the government of the People’s Republic of Benin on scientific and technical cooperation (Cotonou on 25/03 1983, 33/1988 Coll.)

Since the Czech Republic joined the EU, trade relations have been governed by European legislation.

Developmental cooperation

Under the 11th EDF (2014-2020), Benin should receive €372 million in aid.

Since 2010, no project has been implemented by the Czech Republic in Benin.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

The Benin market is relatively small and the purchasing power of the majority of the population is low. The exporter should focus on the entire UEMOA/ECOWAS region, especially Nigeria. The customer focuses primarily on the price, the quality of the goods comes second – the ever-increasing imports of cheap Chinese goods represent a major competitive obstacle. The government considers infrastructure development, energy, mining, tourism, agriculture, processing of agricultural raw materials and healthcare as priority areas.

Due to the low production base, practically everything is imported.

Prospective Czech export items are:

1- Agriculture and food industry – agricultural machinery (tractors and minitractors) and fertilizers, veterinary products, food products, food processing equipment, microbreweries, production of food flour and pasta, bakeries and operations for processing agricultural production, small sugar factories, beverages (beer)

2 – Mechanical industry – construction machinery, trucks (also used), passenger cars, water treatment technology (drinking water preparation, municipal water treatment plants)

3- Manufacturing industry -, leather processing, paper production, glass production and processing, mineral extraction, mining and production of building materials

The most promising sectors for foreign investment are:, agricultural industry establishments (product processing), textile production, palm oil production, hotel industry and tourism,, metal and municipal waste processing, drinking water treatment, assembly of agricultural and transport equipment, etc.

The government has been talking for a long time (so far without results, also due to strong resistance from employees and unions) about privatizing the remaining five large state-owned enterprises SBEE (electricity generation and distribution), SONEB (water), SOBEMAP (loading and unloading of cargo at the port of Cotonou ), Benin Telecoms SA, and La Poste du Benin SA.

Benin Trade