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- GDP (PPP):
- $27.3 billion
- 6.8% growth
- 3.4% 5-year compound annual growth
- $1,729 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Mali’s overall institutional weaknesses continue to limit economic dynamism and perpetuate poverty. The government has implemented regulatory reforms over the past year to enhance the entrepreneurial environment, but these reforms have been undercut by ongoing political instability.
Economic Freedom Snapshot
- 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 56.5 (up 0.1 point)
- Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
- Global Ranking: 121st
- Regional Ranking: 23rd in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Notable Successes: Monetary Freedom
- Concerns: Property Rights, Corruption, and Financial Freedom
- Overall Score Change Since 2012: +0.7
Corruption continues to undermine the rule of law and is exacerbated by an inefficient judicial system that remains vulnerable to political influence. Open-market policies to promote dynamic investment have not been fully institutionalized, and tariffs and other restrictions inhibit potential entrepreneurs from participating efficiently in the global economy.
After President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a March 2012 military coup, Tuareg separatists and militants linked to al-Qaeda took control of Northern Mali and declared independence. French armed forces restored government control in the major cities in January 2013, and former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the presidential election in a second round of balloting in August. In June 2015, the government and an alliance of Tuareg separatist groups signed a peace accord, but clashes between the separatists and pro-government militias soon resumed. Approximately 1,000 French troops remain in the country along with a U.N. peacekeeping operation. The economy depends on agricultural exports such as cotton for foreign exchange. Cotton-price fluctuations and drought contribute to poverty and political instability.
Government corruption remains a problem and was a factor in the Islamist takeover of the North. Demands for bribes are frequently reported in large public procurements and in both public and private contracting and investment projects. Corruption also poses an obstacle to foreign direct investment. The judicial system is inefficient and prone to corruption. Property rights are not adequately protected in practice.
The top individual income tax rate is 40 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax. Overall tax revenue equals 12.2 percent of total domestic income, and government spending has decreased to 23.9 percent of GDP. The budget has been in deficit for five years, and public debt has reached a level equal to about 30 percent of GDP.
Commercial regulations are not enforced effectively. Economic diversification has lagged, and much private-sector activity takes place outside of the formal economy. Labor regulations, although not fully enforced, are relatively rigid. In 2015, the IMF urged the government to take additional steps to place the state-owned, heavily subsidized electricity company’s finances on a sustainable footing.
Mali’s average tariff rate is 7.4 percent. Importation of goods is expensive and time-consuming. Foreign and domestic investors are generally treated equally under the law, and there are no limits on foreign ownership in most cases. The financial sector remains underdeveloped, and banks cannot provide adequate financing for entrepreneurial activity. Much of the population has little access to formal financial services and relies on informal lending.