Locus Economica Founder and CEO Jean-Paul Gauthier has worked on Togo economic development issues on a number of occasions, including on ECOWAS regional integration through USAID in 2002-2003, on new OHADA-wide legislation in 2007, on a review of the country’s Free Zone regime for the World Bank’s Foreign Investment Advisory Services (FIAS) in 2007, and for Deloitte Consulting, evaluating the West African region’s global trade and investment competitiveness later that same year.
Togo’s Free Zone regime had, as of 2004, 63 installed companies, 90% of which were located in 2 port-side zones in Lomé, having made $142 million in investments, producing $200 million in output employing (82% of which was exported) and employing some 7.400 workers. In 2008, following FIAS recommendations, the Government began to prepare a new free zone law. Partially in reaction to these efforts, by 2008, free zone investment levels had risen to $245 million, these investors were producing $300 million in annual output (over 86% of which was exported) and zone employment had risen to 8,000. In 2009, investment levels had risen to over $266 million, output to $324 million and exports to $282 million (now standing at 88% of production). The revised Industrial Free Zone Law was adopted in 2011. By 2016, free zone investors had created 12,000 jobs. The Autonomous Port of Lomé, recently upgraded and having passed Lagos as the highest capacity port in the West African region, operates a zone under the regime.