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                 offset lower imports of mineral products (-24.2%) and base metals and their structures (-17%).
GEOGRAPHICAL ORIENTATION OF TRADE
In 2016, the European Union (EU) remains Cameroon's main trading partner with 39.2% of trade in value against 34.7% in 2015. They are followed by: East Asia, with 18, 5% of trade, South-East Asia (13%), West Africa (11.8%), North America (4%) and other CEMAC countries (3.3%). The 15.4% drop in
the overall volume of trade is evident in all geo- graphical areas.
In 2016, Cameroon exports were mainly towards the European Union, South East Asia, East Asia, other CEMAC countries and West Africa. The five zones account for 90.9% of total exports.
The EU remain the main destination of exports with 53.5% of the total against 47.3% in 2015; they are followed by South-East Asia (18.6%), East Asia (8.4%) and other CEMAC countries (6.7%). Overall, the decline in exports is mainly attributable to lower sales to East Asia (-136.7 billion), South-East Asia (-127 billion) and the EU (-87.8 billion).
Exports towards West African countries have increased from 2.9% in 2015 to 3.7%. Asian
Le Cameroun a exporté plus de 100 000 tonnes de coton fibre
market shares are down 6 points to 27.1%. The market share of other European countries drop- ped to 0.9% from 2% in 2015.
In 2016, the EU is still the largest supplier of Cameroon, with a weight of 30.2%; they are fol- lowed by East Asia (24.9%), West Africa (16.9%) and South-East Asia (9.5%). West Africa and South-East Asia saw their market share fall to 16.9% and 9.5%, respectively, to the benefit of the EU, East Asia and other European countries. Other African countries and the rest of CEMAC also experienced loss of market share.
TRADE BY GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
EUROPEAN UNION
In 2016, the area remained Cameroon’s first cus- tomer and supplier. Trade surplus with the area decreased by 86.7 billion to stand at 113.4 bil- lion. Exports in value to the area decreased by 7.7%. Trade balance’s development is due to the decrease of the surplus with Portugal (-124 billion) and the Netherlands (-92 billion), but also by the development of a deficit of 26.7 billion with Britain, after a surplus of 13.9 billion in 2015. Trade surplus improved with Italy (+122.4 billion), Spain (+30.1 billion) and Belgium (+11.7 bil- lion). The deficit reduction with France continued (20.4 billion after 24 billion in 2015).
 LES ATOUTS ECONOMIQUES DU CAMEROUN
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