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128LES ATOUTS ECONOMIQUES DU CAMEROUNECONOMIC PARTNERSHIPAGREEMENT, THE BONE OF CONTENTIONThe Heads of State and Government of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group during the 7th Summit in December 2012 in Malabo in Equatorial Guinea called for a redefinition of the ACP-European Union relationship (EU). The bone of contention is the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU, and trade issues.Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are com- mercial agreements to develop free trade between the EU and ACP countries. They provide, in parti- cular for the immediate abolition of tax duties on products from signatory countries entering the EU, and the phasing out of tax duties on products origi- nating from the EU when entering into signatory countries. For ACP countries, trade rules are unfair and double standards are observed. Less advan- ced industries of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will not be able to compete with Europe and new industries will not be able to develop. This will put the economies of these countries into a hardship. Thus, job and future of millions of poor people will be compromised. According to some countries, ACP agreements must be reviewed based on a win-win cooperation model.Meanwhile, some countries including Cameroon signed an interim EPA. However, all ACP regions continue to conduct negotiations for fair regional comprehensive agreements for all. And even though ACP countries are not yet well positioned, the EU set August 2016 as the deadline for the entry into force of the agreement concluded with Cameroon. This pressure is denounced by ACP countries, which fear that the poorest of them may be penalized.STRATEGIC CHOICE OF CAMEROONRealizing that the negotiations for a direct evolution to an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the whole Central African Region make no progress and most countries in the region do not seem concerned in the face of the threat, Cameroon, with its back to the wall, had no choice but to reach the stage of the ratification of the Interim EPA, while continuing to boost negotiations at regional level. The preservation by Yaoundé of vital interests par- took of the need to avoid the collapse of whole sec- tors of its economy, for they needed to preserve thou- sands of jobs created around farms beneficiaries of preferential trade exchanges with the EU.Roughly speaking, the collapse could lead to a slowdown of growth momentum. This is the whole meaning of the adoption by the bicameral parliament during its session in June 2014, of the law authorizing President Paul Biya to ratify the progress agreement towards an EPA between the European Community and its Member States on the one hand, and the Central Africa party, on the other hand, for Cameroon economy to search or preserve outlets for its production.Cameroon accepts in exchange for preferential access reserved to its products on the EU market to open its domestic market, in turn, up to 80% of EU imports. Trade liberalization that underlies the struc- ture of the interim EPA will last 15 years, with a two- year moratorium period and will be operated based on product groups. Everything having a seamy side, the opening of the Cameroonian market will lead to loss of customs revenues and could undermine the national productive fabric, which is basically still embryonic. To mitigate this impact, a plan to adapt the Cameroonian economy to EPA was set up.Dakar, April, 25: The opening ceremony of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Ministers’ Council

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