Cameroon: Fluctuation of FCFA - GICAM Expresses Worries

The concerns were expressed at the General Assembly of the organisation held on May 16.

The Cameroon Employers' Organisation, GICAM has held its first General Assembly since the reform of the statutes of the association ushered in a new periodicity for the gathering to be held once every year, latest June 30. Apart from approving the financial audit report and giving the board members the green light to continue implementing earmarked reforms, the general assembly called on the President, Celestin Tawamba, to sort out the issue of the franc CFA which has witnessed a drastic fluctuation in the exchange market in relation to the euro. The drop in the value of the CFA, they said, is negatively affecting international business transactions.

The General Assembly meeting also witnessed the participation of the Minister of Commerce, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, who presented measures taken by government to promote and protect the local industry. The move follows the recent instruction of the Prime Minister calling on GICAM to propose a list of products that can be prohibited from importation in Cameroon. In his presentation, Minister Mbarga Atangana said Cameroon imports even things that can be produced locally, ranging from food items to manufactured goods. Cameroon imports goods to the tune of FCFA 9,634 billion yearly. He however stressed that with the new notion of free trade, international accords leave only a small window for protection, especially for health and phytosanitary products. He however promised to not only promote the local industry but also enable it to conquer foreign markets.

Celestin Tawamba, presented a report of activities and plan of action, notably the digitalisation of services codenamed 'My GICAM', the imminent publication of a 'White Book' on Cameroon's economy as well as the release of a report on a study of the impact of the crisis in the North West and South West on the economy. He frowned at unlawful competition, smuggling and imitation as some of the ills affecting the economy.

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