Magazine article The Middle East

Visitor's Guide

Magazine article The Middle East

Visitor's Guide

Article excerpt

Getting there

The first stop is to contact the nearest Equatorial Guinean diplomatic mission to get a visa. US citizens do not need a visa to go to Equatorial Guinea. A visa costs approx $95.

There are embassies and consulates in the following capitals:

USA: Washington

China: Beijing

France: Paris

Spain: Madrid

Cuba: Havana

Russia: Moscow

Cameroon: Douala

Gabon: Libreville

Nigeria: Abuja

Morocco: Rabat

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa

It is worth contacting your country's embassy in Equatorial Guinea as it will often have a commercial attache who can offer useful advice.

There are many flights to Equatorial Guinea. The main airlines with regular scheduled flights are: Iberia, Spanair, Swiss, KLM, Air France, Cameroon Airlines and Air Gabon.

There are also two local airlines which fly to neighbouring African countries.

There are also some special flights on chartered airlines.

Once there

Malabo is the capital city where, currently, most of the business activity takes place. But 75% of the population lives on the mainland, and Bata is the main commercial port.

It is easy to get advice on opening a business. There are various ports of call to assist investors.

The Ministry of Economy offers general advice. Particularly useful for small and medium sized enterprises.

Two consultancy firms, Ernst and Young and Price WaterhouseCoopers, can help you set up business and offer administrative, financial and accounting advice.

A lawyer can also be very helpful. A small solicitor's firm, Bugete, has assisted a number of businesses. The lawyers speak French, English and Spanish.

It is important to stay a few days in Equatorial Guinea to get a feel of the place. Networking is easy and crucial. Malabo is a relatively small place. Going to one of the bars in the evenings to unwind will allow you to meet many expatriates and locals. …

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