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Cameroon imports more than it exports. This situation weakens its economy. So, to reverse this trend and achieve its set growth targets by 2035, the

country must double its exports over the next 11 years. To attain this goal, Cameroon must diversify its export products and explore new markets that are less demanding than the European Union (EU) and China, which are so far its main trading partners. In this vein, the updated version of the National Export Strategy was presented recently in Yaounde. The document, which was designed in 2014 for Cameroon's entry into the Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU, has been revised and now focuses on exports to Nigeria and Central African countries.

The updated strategy paper therefore recommends the revitalisation of the export apparatus, provision of financial support to exporters, management of packaging quality, product standardization and certification, further improvement of logistics and trade facilitation. The strategic document builds on the geographical strengths of Cameroon, notably its proximity to Nigeria, with a market of 190 million consumers, its openness to the sea and its ability to serve landlocked countries such as Chad and the Central African Republic. "The advantage with this strategy is the conquest of markets that are less demanding and easy to penetrate due, among other things, to the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area," Engelbert Ateke Olomo, Head of the Policy Unit at the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Planning (MINEPAT) said. More studies will be conducted to develop a profile for each of the target countries that will enable local entrepreneurs to produce according to country-specific needs.

(Source: Excerpt from Cameroon Tribune No. 11932 September 2019)