H.E. Jean-Louis BILLON
Minister of Commerce, Côte d'Ivoire
Jean Louis Billon is Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Trade. He has held that post since 13 March 2015, having previously been Minister of Trade, handicraft and SMEs. With a long career in the private and public sectors, he is recognised as a major actor in Côte d’Ivoire’s vibrant economy.
He started his career at Grace Cocoa in Milwaukee, USA, and returned to Côte d’Ivoire in 1995 to become Managing Director of the SIFCA Group, Ivory Coast’s leading agribusiness group.
In 2001 he became counsellor for external trade and mayor of Dabakala, his father’s hometown. In 2002 he was elected President of the Ivoirian Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) Chamber of Commerce.
In 2004 he was active in efforts to bring peace and stability to the country, as part of the Convention de la Société Civile Ivoirienne (CSCI), an NGO bringing together various civil society actors in the wake of the 2002 civil war. Together with other civil society leaders, he developed scenarios that would allow the crisis to be brought to an end. He then led an international campaign to restore confidence in the Ivoirian economy and encourage investors to return to the country.
Jean Louis Billon holds a Masters degree in Law from the University of Montpellier in France and a Masters in International Affairs from the University of Florida in Miami.