By Godlove BAINKONG, Cameroon Tribune, 10-09-2014
Going by the license agreements the government of Cameroon signed with 13 companies in Yaounde yesterday September 9, 2014 within Law No. 2013/004 of 18 April 2013 that provides incentives for private investments in the Republic of Cameroon, over FCFA 180 billion would be invested in diverse sectors to create over 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Sectors Concerned
The 13 companies, both local and foreign, will be involved in the domains of agro industry, metallurgy, extractive industries, chemical and housing sectors with cement production, social housing expected to witness significant mutations. This would be thanks to companies like a group of Turkish companies whose Cameroon chapter, MEDCEM Cameroon, is investing in cement grinding plant. Target is to produce 600,000 metric tons of cement per annum in the initial stage and one million metric tons as it progresses.
This is the same for LPI company involved in cement production, metallurgy et al which will take off in a year all things being equal with cement production. “We envisage investing over FCFA 40 billion and create at least 900,000 jobs,” Djimafo Samuel, Director Delegate of the outfit said. There are equally others like African Chemical Industry to pump in FCFA 9.3 billion in the chemical industry notably the production of detergents, Africa Food Manufacture in the agro industry et al.
Impact on Investment
According to the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Emmanuel Bonde who chaired yesterday’s ceremony, signing license agreements with the companies within the revolutionary law marks a new beginning in giving the economy the investment needed for sustainable development.
Since 2006, he said, the country’s growth rate has been stagnating as a result of weak investments, obliging the State to soften some investment-attractive measures. These include reduction in taxes on the company or on industrial dividends, registration duties relating to credit facilities, loans, advances on current accounts, bonds, increments, reduction, reimbursement and liquidation of share capital, or any transfer of activities, ownership or enjoyment of real-estate property, leases or shares.
Such companies are also exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT) on the importation of equipment, a 5 per cent reduction on customs duties on the importation of equipment and material for extending the enterprise. “We want the enterprises to train nationals, process local materials so that we no longer export raw materials,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of the Investment Promotion Agency, Marthe Angeline Minja, said giving the licenses signifies the dawn of a new era for investments and an end to the hitherto misinterpretation of the law by stakeholders charged with implementing it.