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Economic Partnership Agreement: Cameroon to begin second phase August 4

The second phase of the Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement for the dismantling of trade barriers between countries of the European…

The second phase of the Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement for the dismantling of trade barriers between countries of the European Union and Cameroon is scheduled to go operational on August 4, 2017.

The announcement was made on July 20 at the end of the 17th session of the Committee for the follow-up of the Implementation of the Cameroon – EU Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement.

According to experts, this phase of the EPAs will be characterised by an increase in the level of tariff dismantling on products of the 1st group, mainly consumption by households.

During the session, a representative from the Customs Department, Norbert Belinga said the first phase was a relative success: close to 200 economic operators took advantage, product worth 25 billion CFAF benefitted from tax exemptions, machines and drugs were acquired at a cheaper  rate.

Referring to the second phase that begins on 4th August 2017, Norbert Belinga explained that it will basically consist of tax exemptions on more goods, all in a bid to reinforce competition and give consumers a surplus that will improve on their living conditions.

Faced with scepticism expressed by Cameroonians who argue that the country does not export enough to EU countries in return, Norbert Belinga holds that the objective of the EPA is to diversify the economy and protect it from external shock.

He adds that the EPA is an opportunity for the national economy to insert itself into the world of international exchange.

According to the Bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement, Cameroon opens 80% of its market to tariff free goods from the EU for 15 years. The goods initially considered in this agreement include: industrialised machines, computers, sewing machines and basic goods like drugs, medical equipment and chemicals.

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