Topics discussed and recommendations made during the 11th session of the Cameroon Business Forum will help put back the economy on the rails within the COVID-19 context.
The 11th session of Cameroon Business Forum which is the main forum for dialogue between the State and private sector took place at the Auditorium of the Prime Minister’s Office in Yaounde on October 22, 2020 and ended with adoption of the roadmap on priority actions to improve Cameroon’s ranking in Doing Business report.
Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute chaired the session that took place on the theme, “COVID-19: Proofing the business environment.” As he closed the event, Prime Minister Dion Ngute called on the public and private sector actors to ensure the success of reforms put in place to caution the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country’s socio-economic life. He said the topics presented and Doing Business roadmap adopted were all intended to make the business environment in the country attractive.
Before the adoption of the Doing Business roadmap, topics presented all related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country’s economy and different ways of facing the pandemic. The Coordinator of Cameroon Business Forum, Professor Touna Mama presented the topic, “The economic consequences of pandemics: What lessons can we learn from the past?” The President of the Cameroon Employers’ Union (GICAM), Celestin Tawamba talked on the topic, “What is the impact of COVID-19 on Cameroonian companies”. The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Handicraft, Christophe Eken presented “the private sector strategies to deal with COVID-19 crisis.” Government ministers also took the floor. The Minister of Finance Louis Paul Motaze presented, “Government support measures in fiscal and financial matters in the face of the COVID-19 crisis”, while his counterpart of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, presented on the, “Resilience and prospects of the Cameroon economy in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Doing Business Roadmap
The roadmap that has seven key Doing Business indicators with associated recommendations and implementation deadlines that range from late December 2020 to late March 2021. The first Doing Business indicator is business creation with recommendations such as the publication of notices of establishment of companies online, systematically and regularly at a reduced cost; reduction of the minimum capital threshold from FCFA 100, 000 to FCFA 5,000 for limited liability companies that do not have recourse to the Notary. The second indicator is building permits with six attached recommendations. There are also indicators such as access to electricity and transfer of property. With regard to cross-border trade indicator, the public and private sector actors would have to implement recommendations such as removing the requirement for paper versions of commercial documents where these are available and accessible in electronic form, conduction of a reflection with a view to reducing the costs of exporting cocoa and importing vehicle parts. Other indicators such as execution of contracts and payment of taxes also have recommendations for implementation. Concerning payment of taxes in particular, they recommended a generalised use of the platform for electronic declaration and payment of taxes and duties and also the reduction of the minimum profit tax collection which is 2.2 per cent of turnover and consider the reduction of corporate tax which is currently 33 per cent.
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