Except for uranium mining, foreign private capital has not been easy to attract to Niger. Prospective investors are discouraged by Niger's periods of military rule, small markets, inadequate infrastructure, bureaucratic delays, shortage of local capital, lack of skilled labor, and exorbitant transportation costs.
Niger's investment codes are liberal, with tax relief and tariff protection depending on the level of investment. Further advantages accrue to those investing in small-scale enterprise. The government seeks foreign investment in most sectors, and private-sector investment in parastatal enterprise is welcome.
In the period 1998 to 2000, Niger's share of world foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows was only one-tenth of its share of world production of goods and services. In 1997, FDI inflow peaked at $25.5 million, and then fell to $9 million in 1998. In 1999, the year the President Baré was assassinated, FDI inflow dwindled to $300,000. In 2000, FDI inflow recovered to $19.3 million, but fell to $13.3 million in 2001.