“(Business in Cameroon) - The least we can say is that, for the time being, the Economic Partnership Agreement [wih the EU] benefits the large companies and subsidiaries of multinationals more. On the other hand, SMEs, final consumers and job seekers are not yet feeling the advantages of the agreement.” This is the analysis made by GICAM in its recent internal newsletter.
Since August 4, 2016, when the Cameroonian market was opened for imports from the European Union, beneficiaries of that opening saved more than XAF10.6 billion taxes. However, 60.1% of those tax savings were made by 10 large companies (subsidiaries of multinationals for most of them). Those companies tax savings, in the framework of the agreement, are estimated at XAF4.205 billion for 2,188 operations whose taxable value is XAF147.714 billion.
Three sectors benefited the most. They are namely, the brewery sector with 1,246 operations for XAF1.079 billion (15.4%) of tax savings, the cement sector with 192 operations for a tax saving of XAF1.020 billion (14.6%) and the papermaking sector with 80 operations for XAF615 million (8.8%) of tax savings.
According to GICAM, expectations for the partnership agreement to improve competitiveness, strengthen the industrial fabric, boost private investments and economic growth, create jobs and increase exports are not yet visible.
The share of local companies in taxes saved, in the framework of the economic partnership agreement, could gradually decrease as the implementation of that agreement advances, the GICAM concludes.