With favorable geographical location, macroeconomic stability, debt reduction, progress on structural reforms, and political stability, Benin will seem to have the foundations for a dynamic, diversified economy. Yet the country's economic structure has not evolved, remaining highly dependent on cotton and transit trade, and per-capita growth has slowed down in recent years. The government has requested the World Bank's assistance in understanding the constraints to growth and evaluating the country's potential for diversification and innovation as it seeks to lead the country to emerging market status by 2020. The government is well aware that the vulnerabilities associated with the country's dependence on cotton and transit trade impede the attainment of this goal. Response to the government's request, the objective of the Benin Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) is therefore to identify and analyze the key economic and institutional constraints to growth, including through diversification and innovation. The CEM contains four main chapters, each providing theoretical or empirical analyses of Benin's economic situation and prospects: a) cross-sectoral binding constraints to growth; b) analysis of specific constraints in the cotton and transit trade sectors; c) diversification and innovation potential; and d) political economy of growth.