Private Investment Incentives : Golden Opportunities To Grasp
Many investors have already benefited from the motivations given by the Small and Medium-sized Promotion Agency (APME) and the Investment Promotion Agency (API).
One of the major measures taken by government to facilitate, promote and attract productive private investment has been the putting in place in 2013 of a law to lay down private investment incentives in Cameroon. Still in a bid to encourage private investment and boost national production, certain provisions of the 2013 law were modified in 2017; a step geared towards developing activities to stimulate strong, sustainable and shared economic growth as well as job creation.
Private investors who mean business have been taking advantage of the incentive to make economic gains. Since 2014 when the 2013 law went into force, officials of the Investment Promotion Agency (API) report that 181 conventions have been signed, for a total volume of investment worth FCFA 3,627 billion. The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Promotion Agency (APME) for its part has accorded 37 SMEs with incentives between December 2015 and June 2019. The one-stop-shops established within the bodies in charge of promoting SMEs (APME) and promoting investments for other local and foreign investors (API) are the government structures charged with according the incentives. They also give technical support.
Besides the exemption from duties, taxes, and fees on the importation of capital goods intended
and used for the investment programme, the law provides that investors may enjoy exemptions from or reductions of payment of some taxes, duties and other fees. Section 7 of the Law N° 2013/004 of 18 April 2013 to lay down private investment incentives in the Republic of Cameroon spells out some of them: “Minimum Fee; Corporate tax; Tax on profit; Stamp duty on loans, borrowings, overdrafts, guarantees: increase, reduction, corporate capital repayment and liquidation, or any transfer of activities, real profit Ownership or usufruct, leases or shares; Tax on income from movable assets during the distribution of income in the form of
dividends or other from to be specified in the agreement; Special income tax (SIT) on sums paid to foreign companies for services rendered or used in Cameroon during the project design and execution phases, provided that they are billed at cost price; Taxes, registration and stamp duties on the transportation of processed products;…” In addition to this, the government is also willing to facilitate issues like acquisition of specific visa and work permits for foreign investors.
Officials have often called on private investors to take advantage of these incentives, especially investors in some priority sectors cited in the law like agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and plant, animal or fishery product packaging activities. They have often called on investors to make hay while the sun shines.