The Prime Minister and over 16 cabinet ministers were in Douala, March 12, for yet another edition of CBF.
The 2018 edition of Cameroon Business Forum comes at the hills of economic crisis caused mostly by insecurity in some regions in Cameroon including the Extreme North, North West and South West regions. Notwithstanding, the government, through Cameroon Business Forum is bent on lifting the obstacles that hinder the country’s economic growth.
Through the yearly public-private dialogue, 25 recommendations covering nine project reforms were adopted during the eighth forum that held on March 13, 2017.
Of the 25 recommendations, 16 have been executed making 64 per cent execution rate, six are being executed, and two are yet to kick off while one was reclassified. Going by the balance sheet of CBF, over 60 per cent of recommendations have been implemented so far.
Amongst the recommendations that are on a good footing are the putting in place of an online tracking system for building permit files in Douala, the operationalisation of the co-ownership regime, the launching of the chattel security database, the operationalisation of the 3rd gantry crane at the Douala Port, the operationalisation of the electronic signature and the operationalisation of the arbitration and mediation chamber of the CCIMA among others.
However, the drafting of building code, the preparation of a private sector platform strategic plan and the putting in place of SCADA distributions in Douala and Yaounde among others are still pending.
The ninth edition of CBF chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government; Philemon Yang, held on the theme: “Financing small and medium size enterprises and developing Cameroonian industrial base”.
During his opening speech, he mentioned that important decisions have been taken and implemented since the putting in place of the public-private dialogue including the reimbursement of VAT, the law on public contract and the operationalisation of the SME Bank among others.
“SMEs are an important source of employment, thus, their potential in terms of development has to be exploited and the barriers of financing their activities broken,” the Prime Minister said.However, he challenged SMEs to ameliorate their management in order to gain more confidence from funders and financial institutions.
It is worth noting that Cameroon counts over 200,000 enterprises and about 80% (160,000) fall under small and medium size enterprises and just about 400of the 160,000 are registered with the private sector. With the public-private dialogue that went operational in 2009, the business climate is becoming more and more conducive as it has removed obstacles impeding the business environment by implementing adopted reforms with a view to promote the productive sector.
With the yearly public-private dialogue, the private sector has been reaping enormous benefits but much still needs to be done to render Cameroon a paradise of investment.
However, the results of a research carried out last year by the Cameroon Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Handicraft, of 427 Chiefs of enterprises sampled, 36 per cent of them disclosed that the business environment is degrading, 29 per cent witnessed a drop in activities, and 39 per cent of them witness a drop in their yearly turnover.
The results also stipulate that the drop in yearly turnover affected enterprises in the North West and Far North badly with 47 per cent and 66 per cent respectively.