UK, Cameroon pen trade partnership agreement worth US$277.3m

CAMEROON – Cameroon has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Kingdom, strengthening economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.

It is a continuation of the trade relations that the two nations already had under the bilateral Cameroon-European Union EPA agreement.

Thanks to it, the two countries will serenely continue their trade relations after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit), on December 31, 2020.

Specifically, it allows preferential access without customs duty or quotas to the British market for all the Cameroonian products and vice-versa.

The agreement was signed by International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena and High Commissioner of Cameroon to the UK, H.E. Albert Fotabong Njoteh in London.

“Today’s deal secures opportunities for both British and Cameroonian businesses – and will help support jobs and foster investment.

“International trade and investment are engines of economic growth around the globe, so today’s deal will play a crucial role as we all build back better from Covid-19,” International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena said.

The UK-Cameroon trade was worth around £200m (US$277.3m) in 2019, and this deal lays a foundation to extend trading relationship in the future.

“Today’s deal secures opportunities for both British and Cameroonian businesses – and will help support jobs and foster investment.”

International Trade Minister – Ranil Jayawardena

Its noteworthy that the UK market accounts for 12% of total exports of bananas from Cameroon and this agreement will maintain tariff-free market access to the UK.

It also guarantees continued market access for UK exporters, who sold £50m in goods to Cameroon in 2019.

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“This agreement will make sure around £200m of trade between the UK and Cameroon can continue, supporting Cameroonian businesses to increase operations, enabling UK exporters to sell more goods and boosting prosperity for both countries as we together recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This provides the continuity businesses in both the UK and Cameroon need to ensure trade between our countries continues to flourish and grow,” Minister for Africa James Duddridge said,

The signing comes after the UK penned trade partnership agreements with Kenya and Ghana with the agriculture sector of both countries featuring as top beneficiary of the deal.

So far, the UK government has secured agreements covering 66 countries plus the EU, worth £890bn (US$1.2 trillion) of trade in 2019.

Meanwhile, through the Cocoa and Coffee Development Fund (FODECC), Cameroon will disburse XAF50 billion (US$90.8m), over 5 years, to boost cocoa and coffee production.

The information was disclosed by Samuel Donatien Nengue, FODECC manager, in an interview with Financial Afrik.

He explained that the funds will not be handed to producers but rather used for the purchase and distribution of agricultural inputs, fertilizers, and other production needs expressed by the producers themselves.

This comes at a time that the country plans to exceed the 600,000 yearly tons target to 640,000 tons according to the 2020-2030 national development strategy.

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