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Exporting to the European Union Cameroon generates benefits

The European Union's (EU) observation clear: “Cameroon exports more goods to the EU than the EU exports to Cameroon”, at least for 2019. During the reference period, Cameroon exported goods worth 1.4 trillion CFAF to the EU, representing a 20% increase over the past five years. The good performance of exports is notably driven by cocoa beans (243 billion CFAF), bananas (136 billion CFAF), and timber (140 billion CFAF).

Cameroon has also exported other products to its European partner, namely aluminium (71 billion CFAF), cocoa butter (35 billion F), coffee 24 billion CFAF) and rubber (22 billion CFAF). Unprocessed timber and veneer sheets fetched some six billion and 16 billion CFAF respectively from exports to the EU.

For its part, the EU exported wheat, medicines, fish, cars, insecticides, malt, baby food, etc. to Cameroon amounting to 1000 billion CFAF during the same period. This witnessed a 9% fall over the past five years.


Under-exploited potential

The EU noted an under-exploited export potential on both side. Cameroon could increase cocoa and even banana exports by 186 billion CFAF and 50 billion respectively. This is possible given the competitiveness in these sectors and export successes. The cocoa sector in Cameroon whose production is more quality oriented, could make the best of this market situation by increasing production for a better price (1640 CFAF/kg for the current season).

For all other products likely to be exported to the EU, quality (compliance with standards) is of the essence, not only to access this market, but also to strengthen the competitive advantage enjoyed by Cameroon.

Indeed, the EU receives 47.7% of Cameroon's exports. In addition to exporting to Cameroon, the EU also produces locally as it has many domestic companies that invest mainly in construction, energy, transport or distribution.

While the Netherlands is the main destination for local products within the Union (33%), leading EU companies operating in Cameroon are from France.

(Source Cameroon Business Today N180 of Wednesday, 4 to Tuesday, 10 November 2020)