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Equatorial Guinea's 1,001 roads

Article - October 15, 2013
Economic diversification and openness to FDI characterise the new economic path the private sector has chosen. The President of GVI, Melchor Esono Edjo, sheds more light on these developments
Today, Equatorial Guinea is enjoying the second phase of its adventures in growth and intends to diversify its economy whilst shrinking the state’s role in it. In the interest of creating a legal framework in which private investors play an increasingly important part and dependence on the energy and construction sectors is put in check, EG is opening the way for new business leaders who take a more ambitious and risk-taking approach to business. 
Melchor Esono Edjo is part of this new generation of Equatoguinean champions. A man with a broad view in the world of finance, he presently holds the position of President at private sector holding company GVI. Nevertheless, Mr Esono Edjo also boasts ample experience in the public sector, having previously served as Minister of Finance and Budgets and Treasury President. 
His acclaim as an economist smoothed his transition over to the private sector, where he has actively been contributing ever since. Mr Esono Edjo has been both witness and protagonist in the awakening of EG, which has seen economic growth and strengthening, infrastructure development and social transformation. 
GVI Holding is one of the best 
examples of this new Equato-guinean business model that looks further afield than just energy and construction; indeed, it focuses on diversification as its key to success. That is not to say that Mr Esono Edjo does not believe in the evolution of those sectors that have traditionally supported GE, like agriculture, maritime trade and construction.

On the contrary. However, he also has great faith in exploring new opportunities such as tourism. 

There is no economy without a good policy, but there cannot be a good policy without an efficient economy.

Melchor Esono Edjo,
President of GVI Holding
The country can be highly attractive to visitors; yet bureaucratic obstacles must first be eliminated. “How can we promote tourism if getting a visa is extremely complicated?” he insists.
GVI’s President applies the same theory to the business world, underscoring the importance of facilitating the entry of foreign companies as they contribute to technology transfer and know-how. Furthermore, they can accom-pany EG along its path to true socioeconomic development. 
Mr Esono Edjo is a proponent of the government’s backing those foreign investors who reinvest part of their earnings and establish a long-term relationship with the nation.
 “The government should support foreign firms who have invested heavily in the country and that have become part of national development,” he claims.
He adds that encouraging international relations is fundamental for EG’s economic lift-off, since “without the technology that foreign companies bring in, we’d be a primitive country.” 
Armed with petrodollars, EG could make great strides in technological progress and human resources, yet the country has focused to date on infrastructure, with construction being the first phase of development. This was a necessary step, and now EG is on an economic path where new opportunities present themselves at every turn.