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Cameroon-Tunisia

Exemplary Economic Cooperation

Common knowledge has for long been shrouded by the idea that business and investment openings are only advantageous when they concern Africa and Western countries. While such a narrative might not be completely wrong, the shift in focus that includes looking inwards to neighbouring countries for other opportunities is equally not negligible. Several observers have pointed to the inherent gain in countries with the same or similar levels of development to carry out commercial activities and encourage mutual progress so as to better master the challenges to their national development. Historically, Europe dominated the Cameroonian business environment, but the situation has fast been changing. Recent years have witnessed the emergence of new investors such as China, and other African nations like Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, South Africa, and Nigeria. Thus, the current June ordinary session of Parliament in Cameroon has seen the introduction of a bill to authorise the President of the Republic to Ratify the Technical Cooperation Agreement on Land Matters between the government of the Republic of Cameroon and the government of the Tunisian Republic signed in Tunis on 24 March, 2016.. The present law will therefore serve as another catalyst in what has so far been a potential for growth and opportunity for business development at individual and State levels for Tunisia and Cameroon. The mixed Commission between both countries holds from June 28-29, 2017 in Yaounde with partnership agreements expected to be signed. Rational land management could be another booster to economic take off in Cameroon as some investors have often complained of teething hurdles in the process of setting up businesses in Cameroon due to a difficult land tenure system. The growth potentials that keep attracting foreign investors both from developed and developing countries have lured both Tunisian public and private interests. With an innovative mobile banking offer that is gaining steam in Cameroon, business transactions both within the country and with foreign partners could witness a boom in the years ahead. Recent data by the International Trade Statistics Yearbook: Volume I indicate that Tunisia had the following top five commodities for export between 2011 and 2013: Petroleum oils; Men’s or boys’ suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers; Track suits, ski suits and swimwear; Reception apparatus for television; and Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits. Cameroon on the other hand, according to the same report had: Petroleum oils, crude; Rice; Fish, frozen, excluding fish fillets grouped together; Petroleum oils, other than crude and Wheat. The items show diversity which both nations could build on to foster business interaction amongst their peoples.

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