Economic activity in the country is dominated by the tertiary sector – representing roughly 80% of GDP – while the primary sector remains underdeveloped due to an unfavourable natural climate and geography. However, while industry accounts for less than one-fifth of GDP, investment in free trade zones and port facilities is expected to lead to more robust growth in the sector in the coming years. Foreign investment, mainly from China, will help expand Djibouti’s redistribution capacity, as will continued partnership with Ethiopia. Over time, these facilities will provide opportunities for increased manufacturing and contribute to economic diversification. As Djibouti’s economy evolves and the number of modern shopping outlets grows, grocers and the distribution channels that supply them have proven to be key drivers of the country’s retail industry.
This chapter contains an interview with Youssef Dawaleh, President, Chamber of Commerce of Djibouti.