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Country Report Mali Product Image

Country Report Mali

  • ID: 2138674
  • November 2014
  • Region: Mali
  • 25 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

China and Mali have discussed the modernisation of Mali's land transport links with the West African coast, projects that would reduce costs for local business and facilitate the development of mineral resources.

A new 900-km rail line to Guinea's capital, Conakry, and an upgrade of the railway to Senegal's capital, Dakar, are the main projects under discussion. The two projects would cost a total of US$9.5bn and would significantly improve the country's access to world markets, facilitating the development of its unexploited iron ore, bauxite and uranium reserves. Chinese investors are already reported to be interested in exploiting the 100m-tonne iron ore deposit at Balé, 220 km west of Bamako, Mali's capital. The Malians even hope that Chinese funds will allow for the construction of a steel plant and a power station.

Although a string of initial agreements have been signed, the status of the various projects and the level of Chinese commitment have yet to be confirmed by the Chinese. Indeed, current market conditions-iron ore prices have fallen by nearly 50% since the start of 2014 and uranium prices remain far below the marginal cost of producing the metal-are likely to delay the implementation of these projects. Chinese investors, backed by state funds, are somewhat insulated from these market conditions, but investments of this scale will be difficult to implement amid slowing economic growth in China and hence demand for commodities.

Country Report Mali

Mali dreams about growth-enhancing infrastructure projects
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Analysis
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