Djibouti Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022


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

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

In the case of Djibouti, which benefits from its strategic location in the Horn of Africa, the negative trade balance is significant. Exports to the EU are dominated by live animals and foodstuffs. Mainly machinery and means of transport, chemicals and food are imported from the EU.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Djibouti, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 321 194.9 245.1 200.2 216.9
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 13.6 9.4 4.5 5.9 5.9
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -307.4 -185.5 -240.6 -194.3 -211

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Exports from the Czech Republic in 2021 were dominated by tamping machines and road rollers. Compared to 2020, Czech exports to Djibouti increased more than 4 times, and compared to 2019, more than doubled. From the Czech point of view, the trade balance has been positive for a long time, with the exception of 2020, when Djibouti started exporting chocolate and chocolate products to the Czech Republic, and Czech exports fell by more than half. In 2021, the turnover of mutual trade reached record numbers.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (million CZK) 11,070 4,646 8,980 4,272 19,947
Import to the Czech Republic (million CZK) 3.065 0.631 1.845 8,363 14,407
Balance with the Czech Republic (million CZK) -8.005 -4.015 -7.134 4,091 -5.540

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

In recent years, Djibouti’s imports to countries outside the EU have been stable around EUR 1.1-billion per year, the exception being the covid year 2020, when imports fell to USD 0.9 billion.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) ON ON ON ON ON
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 1,091.9 1 104.5 1,274.9 894.2 1,220.7
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) ON ON ON ON ON

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

In 2020, Djibouti registered foreign direct investment of USD 158.23 million. After the record year of 2013, when investments reached USD 286 million, in the following years they are in the range of USD 143-173 million per year. The Djibouti government has identified transport, logistics, energy and tourism as strategic sectors for foreign investors. In 2020, Djibouti introduced an online registration option for foreign investors and the Djibouti Port Community System platform, where various online services for the private sector are offered. Among the main risks for foreign applicants are high unemployment, unskilled labor, regional instability, corruption, clientelism or a weak financial sector. Foreign direct investment is a priority for the government, and the institution responsible for foreign investment has been the National Investment Promotion Agency since 2001.

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

Djibouti is not a signatory to the Economic Partnership with the EU (EPA), economic relations are governed by the Cotonou Agreement.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has not concluded or negotiated any trade-economic agreement with Djibouti.

Developmental cooperation

Djibouti is a recipient of development aid. According to World Bank data, over USD 272 million in aid went to the country in 2019. The largest donors include France, Japan, European institutions, the International Monetary Fund, the US and Arab funds (in that order). Bilateral development aid makes up ¾ of total development aid. The largest part of development aid goes to financial infrastructure, education and humanitarian aid.

In the period 2014-2020, Djibouti received 105 million euros in bilateral aid from the European Development Fund, and additional funds from the Trust Fund for Africa. Most of these projects focus on access to drinking water, sanitation and food security, or job creation.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Djibouti is not included in the ILO.


Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)

Police: 17 or 350080

Rescue service: 19

Firefighters: 18

hospital: French Military Hospital – emergency: 253-21-453015, Hospital General Peltier: 352712, dentist – Center Adventist de Sante: 357042

Important web links and contacts National Tourism Office Central Bank Djibouti Radio and Television La Nation Weekly Djibouti Chamber of Commerce Djibouti Free Zone Presidential Office Ministry of Finance (in charge of industry)

Djibouti Trade