TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Cameroon: Government assesses "AGOA adhesion"

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Source: Cameroon Tribune (Cameroon)

Cameroon's participation at AGOA's 10th anniversary early this month was the focus of a news conference yesterday.

Cameroon stands to gain a lot in terms of export trade from the Africa's Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), if it fully lives up to expectation with the conditions of the institution, the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, has said. But ten years after the US Congress approved the legislation, AGOA fruits are not quite visible in the country. Speaking in a news conference yesterday after the country's participation in the 10th anniversary of the institution, the Minister said much remains to be done to adequately tap the advantages that AGOA offers. The raison d'être of the AGOA legislation, he said, was to assist the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States of America and the region.

Yesterday's rendezvous with the press was to draw a balance sheet of the country's participation in the AGOA forum early this month, its benefits and perspectives as well as to present the ministry's investment projects. Professor Etoundi Ngoa said during the forum, that US president, Barack Obama, urged Africa to take its development destiny into its hands and not almost always look up to AGOA. This, he stressed, could be through improving its investment climate and political stability so that AGOA could cease from being looked upon as a donor and be seen as a partner on a win-win basis. The Minister challenged the private sector to arm itself and diversify its activities so as to ably compete with others elsewhere and reap from the fountain of AGOA. AGOA provides trade preferences for quota and duty-free entry into the United States for certain goods, especially expanding market access for textile goods into the USA for eligible countries.

Accompanied by his peer of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Professor Etoundi Ngoa said while government is resolute in diversifying its products so that they can stand the test of time, the ministry will not relent in its efforts to boost small and medium-sized enterprises in the country. He announced the laying of foundation stones for the construction of artisanal centre as well as an agro-food processing centres in Ebolowa, Limbe and Ngaoundere and the distribution of agricultural material to rural women from next week.




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