Some 30 businessmen and women from about 25 companies in Tunisia are currently scanning investment opportunities in Cameroon through which the two countries could solidify their growing partnership.
The visiting delegation held an economic forum with their Cameroonian peers in Yaounde yesterday February 25 under the auspices of the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi.
The forum attended by other cabinet ministers from Cameroon and some senior officials from Tunisia served as an opportunity for Cameroon, on one hand, to sell its investment potentials as well as present investment-friendly legal and administrative instruments in place, and on the other hand, for Tunisia to market what officials termed its wealth of experience.
It was also an opportunity for business-to-business contacts between business people of the two countries. Speaker after speaker harped on the fact that Cameroon’s riches in natural and human resources is unquestionable and that collaboration with Tunisia with its experience could trigger win-win business susceptible to propelling the countries’ socio-economic development to the limelight.
According to Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Cameroon is endowed with numerous natural resources synonymous with investment opportunities. The Minister cited attractive investment incentives, notably the April 2013 law on private investment incentives in Cameroon, the country’s adherence to international treaties on business arbitration like the OHADA law and the public/private partnership framework being pursued by government as opportunities the Tunisian business class could seize to set up mutually beneficial investments in the country.
The country’s population of over 21 million inhabitants, its central position in the Central African sub-region and a hub for over 300 million inhabited neigbouring countries coupled with its social and political stability, Minister Nganou said, present Cameroon as a business Eldorado yearning for investors and Tunisians would be welcomed.
Other speakers like the leader of the Tunisian delegation, Nejla Moalla Harrouch, Minister of Trade and Handicrafts, said Tunisia is seeking to diversify its economic partners, stating that Cameroon is a privileged destination. She said although exchanges between the two countries have grown from 19 million dollars (about FCFA 9 billion) in 2008 to 35 million dollars (about FCFA 16.7 billion) in 2013, much could still be done given that opportunities are not yet fully maximized.
With particular interest in energy, higher education, tourism and pharmaceuticals among others, the Tunisian delegation pledged their readiness for frank partnership hoping to sign commercial agreements soon to boost the cooperation.