Some 174 new approvals from the National Approval Committee for CEMAC Industrial Products were granted to 17 home-based enterprises yesterday.
Five hundred and sixty-eight products manufactured by enterprises operating on Cameroonian soil have been approved for duty-free circulation in the sub-regional market in the last four years, statistics made public yesterday by the Minister of Trade show.
The approvals for the products were accorded to 71 enterprises over the period. The National Approval Committee for Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) Industrial Products certified the goods after four different evaluation sessions; May 2014, November 2014, October 2016 and September 2017.
While handing over the latest 174 approvals to beneficiary products yesterday, the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana said Cameroon is the only country in the sub-region to fully engage the approval mechanism for industrial products.
Besides benefiting from tax and customs exonerations, the Minister noted that the accreditation will freely open the enterprises to a CEMAC market of over 45 million people and the larger Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) market of over 170 million people.
Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana called on executives of other home-based entreprises to sign up for the approval process so that they too could benefit the free openness to a larger market that comes with the certification. He said the overall aim is to develop the country’s economy and create more jobs, especially for the youth.
For his part, Chaabi Ali, General Manager of Lana Bio-Cosmetic and spokesperson of the recent recipients of the approval, commended the government for the move. He said the accreditation was going to fast-tract the growth of their companies.
However, he implored the Minister to take measures to protect local industries. Chaabi Ali suggested that it will be good if a repressive operation is carried out to suppress contraband.
Wednesday’s approvals that were handed over by the Minister of Trade to the 16 enterprises were decided upon during the Committee session held in Douala, September 18-20, 2017. The approved products include: cosmetics, domestic utensils, plastic bags, groceries, soap, detergents, creams, building and construction materials, amongst others.