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Business News of Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Source: Dw-World

EU opens door to Cameroonian products

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After several years of complex negotiations, the European Union finally opens its markets to products from Cameroon on Monday. In practice, this means that Cameroon can now freely export its products, without paying customs duties and without quota, to member countries of the European Union.

Meanwhile, the European Union will also gradually access the Cameroonian market. Some products are also excluded from the EPA to protect sensitive sectors of Cameroon's economy - for instance the agricultural sector.

According to Désiré Avom, a Cameroonian Economist, the question that arises is: "what can Cameroon sell in these markets? This refers to the issue of the diversification of the economy of Cameroon. It is an asymmetric priori agreement. So it is left for Cameroon to make efforts to maximize the benefits of this agreement.

In Europe, these agreements are criticized by some non-governmental organizations and some parliamentarians. Helmut Scholz who represents the German extreme left party "die Linke" in the European Parliament noted: "Longer and more focused negotiations on the current economic situation of the partner countries would perhaps lead to better results. The European Union has put enormous pressure on African States. We would like that access to markets is based not only on a reciprocal basis because it is clear that European States will then have an advantage".

The European Commission has assured that the partnership agreement remained open to other countries in the region who wish to accede. But, she said, the ratification shall take place before 1 October otherwise States such as Chad, Gabon or the Republic of Congo will lose preferential access for their products which is currently on the European market.

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