Somalia - Services

In the south of the country banking is re-emerging in the form of private ventures. The Barakaat Bank of Somalia, for example, was established in Mogadishu in October 1996 by a group of small businessmen who also run a telephone company and postal and computer services. Similarly, the Somalia-Malaysian Commercial Bank was opened in Mogadishu in April 1997 by a group that also runs the Somali Telecommunications Service. In most other parts of the country financial services are provided by less formalized money-changers.

Somalis living outside the country are currently the most significant source of foreign investment. In Somaliland, a central bank has been established (Central Bank of Somaliland), but no other formal financial institutions exist. Informal facilitators typically charge 5-10 percent commission on transfers from abroad. In August 1999 the Central Bank of Puntland became operational in Boosaaso.

Somalia's retail trade, which was hit hard by the civil war, is supplied largely by the informal sector . Mogadishu's main market, Bakara, offers a wide range of consumer goods and weaponry. Tourism is non-existent.

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