4th Douala investor forum focuses on import substitution policy


  • UK is guest of honour

The 4th International Investors Forum began on October 25 in Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon.

For two days, local business promoters, foreign investors, and other economic players discussed the challenges and opportunities of Cameroon’s import-substitution policy.

Participants also discussed the policy’s financing mechanisms and took part in a mini-fair exhibition of Made in Cameroon products and services, along with B-to-B meetings.

Great Britain is the guest of honor for this year’s edition, with the participation of the UK Export Finance (UKEP). “Great Britain will continue to support development projects in Cameroon,” said the British High Commissioner to Cameroon, Barry Robert Lowen. As a reminder, in 2021, UKEP secured CFA 88.9 billion in a deal signed between Cameroon, Standard Chartered Bank, and Achmea Bank (Netherlands) for the construction of the Douala eastern bypass.

“This year’s event is an opportunity for us to learn from the UK’s know-how to better support our SMEs. We will also secure financing from that partner,” said Christophe Eken, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Crafts of Cameroon (CCIMA) – the event’s organizer.

First organized in 2017 in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines, Industry, and Technological Development (Minmidt), the International Investors Forum aims to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) for economic development in areas with high job creation and added value. At the 3rd forum in 2021, the CCIMA registered a total of 195 projects, 30 of which are already financed, and 70 are awaiting financing.

The Cameroonian government introduced the import-substitution policy in 2021 to replace imports with locally produced goods. To encourage investments in domestic production and discourage imports, the government implemented various measures, including tax and customs incentives, as well as adjustments to excise duties on certain imported products. The 2023 Finance Act includes a budget allocation of FCFA136 billion to support import substitution efforts.

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