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Benin’s Cotonou Port Receives 27% More Imports After Expansion

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Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Imports of goods to Benin’s main port of Cotonou increased 27 percent to 7 million metric tons this year after the harbor underwent renovations to enable it to handle more traffic.

The West African nation hopes to increase the volume of imported goods to 9 million tons in 2011, said Albert Houngbo, general director of the port, in a statement read on state-owned broadcaster Office de Radiodiffusion et Television du Benin yesterday.

Benin signed an agreement with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account in 2006 to invest $169 million to upgrade roads in the port, construct a new wharf and improve customs procedures.

Houngbo said Benin plans to build five inland ports to move goods to neighboring countries, including landlocked Niger and Burkina Faso, next year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Serge-David Zoueme in Cotonou via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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