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Attracting Investments: Visible Strides But…

Christopher JATOR | 12-11-2017 22:19

The just-ended CIF presented the path covered and also highlighted what is still to be done to bring in viable investors especially substantial direct foreign investments.

The 2nd Cameroon Investment Forum (CIF), which ran from November 9-10, 2017 in Douala has been a forum for the exhibition of new products and services meant to attract foreign investors and create business opportunities. The event brought together private and public sector entrepreneurs from about 300 Cameroonian, African, American and European companies to discuss ways to make Cameroon a better investment destination as well as draw up support for local investors and finance projects. They were from the agro-industry, metal- steel, chemical, pharmaceutical, housing, energy and ICT sectors. They held high-level consultation and brainstorming with the goal to link to each other and industrial project promoters to major technical and financial partners which is expected to issue in job creation and business opportunities in the country, especially in sectors like social housing, energy, road infrastructure and agro-industry. In this regard, the Investment Promotion Agency (API) fine-tuned funding possibilities for these projects. Presently, an investment market is in place with 500 projects having been selected and 20 to 25 of the projects having been shortlisted and their contracts with banks and investors are due to be finalised. Marthe Angéline Minja, API General Manager, highlighted that they emphasised the new framework to promote private investment in Cameroon, which exempts companies from taxes and custom duties for 15 years, including 10 years during their installation phase and five years during their production phase. Participants which included Cameroonians in the Diaspora such as investors, project leaders, heads of financial institutions, development partners and government authorities, have come up with a suitable networking platform as well as opportunities to establish or consolidate personal and professional contacts whose fallouts are expected in the area of seaport, airport, railway infrastructure, power and hydraulic, mining, urban and social development. During the event’s closing presided over by the Governor of the Littoral Region, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, a presentation of the five thematic workshop deliberations and summary was made, including review of the conditions for improving Cameroon's investment framework, stakes and challenges facing Cameroon's investment environment within the framework of the application of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, etc. Earlier on, the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Ernest Ngwaboubou, in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Henri Eyebe Ayissi, and the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Jean Claude Mbwenchou, outlined Cameroon's Industrialisation Master plan and business opportunities in targeted sectors.

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