Page 122 - Atouts Economiques Cameroun-2019-GB
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to feel on a daily basis, the social and economic changes as programmes are being implemented.
It's on October 28, 2014 that Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Cameroon's Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, and Ambassador Françoise Collet on behalf of the European Union (EU), signed in Yaoundé, the indicative framework in which will run from 2014 to 2020, the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The funding of the programme of 185 billion FCFA granted Yaoundé by Brussels is in the wake of what the EDF has already done in Cameroon and it complements the national and bilateral cooperation programmes, while nesting in similar actions of the EU in Central Africa.
The Heads of State and Government of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group during the 7th Summit in December 2012 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea called for a redefini- tion of the ACP-European Union relationship (EU). The bone of contention were the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU, and trade issues.
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are commercial agreements to develop free trade between the EU and ACP countries. They pro- vide, in particular for the immediate abolition of tax duties on products from signatory countries entering the EU, and the phasing out of tax duties on products originating from the EU when ente- ring into signatory countries. For ACP countries, trade rules are unfair and double standards are observed. Less advanced 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 econo- mies of these countries into a hardship. Thus, job and future of millions of poor people will be com- promised. 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.
Realizing that the negotiations for a direct evolu- tion 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 nego- tiations at regional level. The preservation by Yaoundé of vital interests partook of the need to avoid the collapse of whole sectors of its eco- nomy, for they needed to preserve thousands of jobs created around farms beneficiaries of prefe- rential 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 structure of the interim EPA will last 15 years, with a two-year moratorium period and will be opera- ted 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 eco- nomy to EPA was set up.
Family photo of a European Union and ACP countries meeting

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