Cameroon is called “Africa in miniature” because of these assets.At the end of the Structural Adjustment Programs, the country embarked on the path of emergence through a set of strategic and operational measures. It is in this light that compass documents such as Vision 2035 or the GESP, the reference framework for government action were registered for the period 2010-2020.
Growth and employment, which are the pillars of this emergence, can only be possible through investment. An offensive was launched by the government in order to promote private investment. This is the case with the Law of 18 April 2013 to set out incentives for private investment whose objective is to “favour, promote and attract productive investments with a view to developing activities geared towards the promotion of a strong, sustainable and shared economic growth, as well as employment.”
On the initiative and under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Paul BIYA, President of the Republic of Cameroon, Cameroon organized an International Economic Conference on “Investing in Cameroon, Land of Attraction” on 17 and 18 May 2016 in Yaounde. This unprecedented event aimed at presenting the investment opportunities of Cameroon to businessmen, industrialists, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and financiers from Africa and the world.
At the end of this Conference which was personally chaired by the Head of State, priority measures were recommended by the participants during the exchanges, especially:
• the establishment of a sub-committee to monitor the funding and implementation of projects identified and presented during the Conference;
• visas facilities with the dematerialization of the procedures for businessmen (i.e. the implementation of an on-line visa procedure) and, in the meantime, the general granting of visas entry;
• creation of specific economic zones;
• encouraging private investment through tax and administrative facilities and more efficient administration;
• strengthening ties with neighbouring CEMAC countries as well as Nigeria so as to increase the size of the regional market.
Alongside an impressive standard framework, public Officials have also set up an important Institutional Mechanism to support the private sector. (Investment Promotion Agency, Promotion Agency for SMEs, Business Creation Procedure Centre, one-stop shop reducing customs operations, etc., to 72 hours).
Cameroon’s great ambition to be a “Land of Attractiveness” for investors is based on its strategic position in Africa (at the crossroads of West and Central Africa and at the Intersection of ECOWAS and CEMAC Regions). Cameroon is thus close to a potential market of 300 million consumers if one integrates Nigeria, the DRC and Sudan.
Thanks to its bilingual nature, the considerable natural and human resources, diversity of its climate, its soil and subsoil, Cameroon proudly stands as “Africa in Miniature” with agro pastoral and fishery potential, which led it to assume the role of “Central African Warehouse.
With 17 million hectares of available forests, Cameroon stands as the second largest forested country in Africa. It has a dynamic and well-educated population estimated at 23 million inhabitants in 2014, of which nearly 75% are young people under 25 years of age. Its political stability, sustained economic growth (an annual growth rate of more than 5% since 2013), reforms undertaken to improve the business climate, and diversification of its economy. Its Atlantic facade, rail network, three International airports and 50,000 km roads all favour the integration of Cameroon into regional and global trade, with the addition of a fibber optic connection in direct connection to the backbone.
In recent years, Cameroon has launched many projects structured in key areas of agro-industry, road, ports and airports infrastructures, energy, real estate and urban development, mining and new technologies. This diversity of sectors alone demonstrates the scope of opportunities for foreign investors.
The difficulties encountered in the first phase of implementation of the DCSE resulted to the establishment of a three-year contingency plan with the aim of catching up with growth.
The first phase of this contingency plan, amounting to 925 billion FCFA over 3 years, was launched in October 2015, at the time of the international bond issue of 750 billion FCFA. The contingency plan covers 248 projects, for which feasibility studies are under way. Seven sectors are concerned:
• Urban development, notably through the rehabilitation of secondary roads in Douala and Yaounde, the construction of 800 social housing units in the Regional capitals, with the exception of Douala and Yaounde;
• Health, especially with the construction of outstanding health facilities in the 8 Regional capitals with none, and the rehabilitation/upgrading of the technical platforms of the general hospitals in Yaounde and Douala as well as the University Health Centre of Yaounde;
• Agriculture and livestock farming, with the creation of Agropoles, the development of 120,000 hectares of hydro-agricultural perimeter and the construction of large food supply markets;
• Road transport, with the construction of two major roads in each region aimed at opening up to production areas.
• The energy sector is concerned with the construction of transmission lines, including Edea-Yaounde and Edea-Douala, as well as the Bini dam at Warak;
• The water supply sector plans to construct water supply systems in 30 secondary towns and the drilling of 100 wells in each region.
All these assets and potentialities make Cameroon the natural leader of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the engine of integration in the sub region and therefore a “good risk” for investors, or even opportunities to grab. Investors need to be well assisted. Thus the creation of the Centre of External Trade and External Relations
CETER, A CENTRE IN THE SERVICE OF FOREIGN AND CAMEROONIAN INVESTMENTS IN CAMEROON AND CONQUEST OF FOREIGN MARKETS BY CAMEROONIANS.
The Centre of External Trade and External Relations(CETER) is a Company of Cameroon law, registered in the Trade and Personal Property Credit wishing to establish a platform of welcome, and accompaniment of foreign investors in Cameroon an of Cameroonian investments abroad, it is also an agency of management and assistance of national or foreign investors engaged in the development of Cameroon.
The Centre also propose to provide assistance in the framework of collaboration between foreign investors on one hand and institutionalized Consular Chambers and corporation group on the other hand, for the development of partnership with local companies, through the organization of fairs, expositions, seminars conferences and meetings relating to the improvement and promotion of Cameroon abroad.
To achieve these missions the Center , holds on a team of experts with various profiles comprising (communicators, legalists, economists, accountants, insurers, computer engineers etc.) able to provide a better expertise in terms of promotion and security of investments locally and internationally in Cameroon.
We are listening to you, waiting for you, and it is together that we are going to achieve your projects and bring a better contribution to the emerging of Cameroon.