Most foreign investments in Burkina Faso come from private French sources; however, investment capital from other EU members has increased in recent years. Under the Investment Code of 1992, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Mines approves new investments based on the recommendations of the National Investment Commission. The principal criterion used is value added, with a minimum acceptable level of 35%. The investment code has three incentive schedules: Schedule "A" for investment under 200 million CFAF (about 390,000), a more generous Schedule "B" for investments above this level, and an even more generous (permanent exemption from all Burkinabe taxes) Schedule "C" for export companies. The 1993 Mining Code regulates foreign mining enterprises. Investment has been sought for hotels, textile factories, agroindustrial projects, communications, and other fields in addition to mining. As of 1996, over 140 companies were holding exploration licenses while total investment in the mining sector amounted to $38 billion. As of the late 1990s, the most promising sectors for foreign interest and investment were the cotton industry and the gold mining industry. Foreign firms must reserve at least 35% of capital for Burkinabe participation and 50% for priority-sector investments.
Between 1997 and 1999, FDI inflow into Burkina Faso averaged $11.77 million, but then jumped to an annual average of $24 million of FDI in 2000 and 2001. France has been the source of most investment with Lebanese investors playing a prominent role in 2001. The only sizeable US investment has been from Mobile (now Exxon Mobile) in gas distribution.