Cameroon-Nigeria: Maximising Trade Opportunities
By Christopher JATOR, Cameroon Tribune
Exchanges between the two countries suffer a 12% commercial deficit on the part of Cameroon.
Preparation towards the setting up of a platform for business exchanges between Cameroon and Nigeria held in Douala on January 28. Organised by the Cameroon Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Crafts, CCIMA, with the collaboration of the Nigerian High Commission in Yaounde, business people in Cameroon sensitisedon the importance of business exchanges the two brotherly nations.
The meeting was crucial to conclude the commercial agreement discussed at the Sixth Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission on April 11, 2014, strengthen trade relations existing between the two countries, as well as open up new collaboration based on the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs.
Ekoko Mukete, Vice President of CCIMA, said the 170 million Ngerian population and 21 million Cameroonian population is a big market for investors from both countries to exploit.
Between 2011 and 2014, Nigeria’s exports (cosmetics, textiles, motor spare parts, household equipments) to Cameroon stood at 36 per cent. On the other hand, Cameroon’s exports to Nigeria, mainly, cotton, rubber, foodstuff, which fall under non petroleum products stood at 24 per cent, within the same period.
Cameroonian business men attributed the 12 per cent deficit to stiff demands on norms and standards of products bound for Nigeria. They, however, proposed the revisiting of some of these norms by the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission before the creation of the business exchange platform between the two countries.
High Commissioner to Cameroon, Hadiza, who led the Nigerian delegation among them Ambassador Hassan Mousa Malam, Consul General of Nigeria in Douala, underscored prospects for closer economic ties with Cameroon.
Opportunities and areas of possible investment include small and medium-sized enterprises, cross-border cooperation and the twinning of cities. Proposed strategies should include deliberate government policies to promote and formalise bilateral and regional trade, investments and joint ventures. Also, the creation of Free Economic Zones at the border areas, joint exploitation of shared resources, infrastructure, expertise and skills to avoid duplication and to maximise partnership agreements with the third party countries.>>>