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Economic Partnership Agreement: Cameroon to unfold its implementation strategy

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Celle-ci a été restituée et validée ce jeudi 28 novembre 2019 à Yaoundé, au cours d’un atelier présidé par le Secrétaire Général du Ministère de l’Economie, de la Planification et de l’Aménagement du Territoire, Jean TCHOFFO, président du Comité de suivi de la mise en œuvre de l’APE bilatéral Cameroun-Union Européenne.

In a view to taking better advantage of the opportunities offered by this trade agreement, the Government has just adopted a strategy for implementing the EPA, accompanied by a quantified action plan. Overall, this aims at removing major constraints on the achievement of the EPA objectives.

To achieve this, the strategy recommends, among other things, increasing and diversifying Cameroon’s exports to the EU, ensuring the quality and quantity of local products. This also concerns strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises by reducing factor costs, improving the business environment, strengthening the technical and operational capacities of economic operators and choosing 04 to 05 products in the growth-bearing sectors to be inserted in global value chains etc.

According to the Secretary General of MINEPAT, this strategy takes into account the development component of the EPA. It therefore makes it possible "to make the Economic Partnership Agreement a real opportunity for the economy of Cameroon ". For Vincent KOUETE, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Cameroon Employers Association (GICAM), "the private sector wants this strategy to lead to concrete commitments from the Cameroonian government and the EU aimed at making the EPA a lever for trade, growth and development; and to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of this agreement in line with those of Vision 2035".

It should be noted that the AESA firm, which carried out the study related to this strategy, estimates the latter's needs at CFAF 566.5 billion during the2020-2029 period , which coincides with the implementation of the post-GESP national development strategy, which was reviewed in Yaounde, at the November Cabinet Meeting, by the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey.

As a reminder, since 4 August 2016, Cameroon has been progressively implementing its Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union. Since then, the country has faced numerous challenges, including the competitiveness of its economy. As of 30 October 2019, only fifty Cameroon companies had been able to benefit from the European preference.