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Congo Republic Economic Zones Mulled by Gazprombank, Bain & Co.

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Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A group of foreign companies including Gazprombank OJSC began a feasibility study on two special economic zones in the Republic of Congo, a government official said.

The proposed zones are in Brazzaville, the capital, and Ouesso, 660 kilometers (410 miles) north of the city, Alain Akouala Atipault, head of special economic zones in the presidency, said in a statement today. The group also includes Bain & Co. and Gide Loyrette Nouel, he said. The results of the study will be announced in six months, Atipault said.

Republic of Congo is recovering from a civil war between 1997 and 1999 in which at least 10,000 people died and 800,000 civilians were displaced. The Central African nation, which earns more than half its income from oil, is investing in infrastructure as economic growth accelerates. Oil production grew to a record 115 million barrels last year, helping the economy expand 10.2 percent, according to the African Development Bank.

Last month, Atipault said China offered to help fund special economic zones in the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Mbakouo in Brazzaville via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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