The government hopes that donor countries will extend the estimated $13.7 million needed for the ICT initiative outlined above. There is potential for successful investments in port services and telecom. Aid projects and privatizations are two other portals for foreign investment in Djibouti. The state is planning to off-load a 49 percent share of Djibouti Telecom soon.

Direct foreign investment from international organizations like the World Bank has increased, although it is largely contingent on structural reform. The UNDP has promised limited funds in the past to contribute towards financing agriculture and livestock breeding programs, decentralizing the economy, and developing a free-trade zone. USAID provided $8.7 million last year, and will put up another $3 million to improve the main airport, air traffic control, and strengthen border control.


The fishing sector has room for development; Djiboutis 195-mile coastline on the seafood-rich Red Sea is underutilized. The country also needs more light industries. As a market for imported goods, 95 percent of foodstuffs are imported, predominantly from France, Ethiopia and Gulf countries. Djibouti also re-exports many food and beverage goods to other African countries. The provision of water resources is a crucial development need in Djibouti and the government is considering building a desalinization plant.
Most foreign investment in Djibouti today arrives by way of its port, with Ethiopia and Somalia being the largest participants. Djibouti is a member of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which removed all internal tariffs and barriers among member states in 2000.  COMESA plans to introduce a common external tariff structure to simplify procedures and manage all third party trade. 




Djibouti is seeking private sector foreign investment in a variety of export-oriented services, specifically those related to the port. Investment in the untapped fishing sector, as well as the food sector is also encouraged. Djibouti officials also hope to create a tourism industry. The government is channeling donor money to many infrastructure developments where assistance is needed - telecommunications, rail, airport services, and road construction, and water. 

US companies will see competition for their exports from some regional countries, including Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia, although France remains the largest exporter to Djibouti. The majority of the exports from the country went to Somalia and Ethiopia, with Yemen, the UAE, and the Netherlands garnering smaller shares.