(Business in Cameroon) - Since September 2020, Cotton development corporation SODECOTON has been unable to pay its foreign suppliers, internal sources inform. According to the sources, this is due to their inability to make payments denominated in foreign currencies because of the provisions of the new foreign exchange rules in force in the CEMAC region.
"We are suffocating. We have money but we can’t pay our partners. We must be allowed to open foreign currency accounts because we are a well-structured company whose activities are public. We can therefore be easily monitored," a SODECOTON executive laments.
The said foreign exchange regulation became effective on March 1, 2019, in the CEMAC region. Recently, economic operators and bankers started criticizing some of its provisions. For instance, on April 14, 2021, the Inter-Patronal Grouping of Cameroon (GICAM) and the Cameroonian Association of Professionals of Credit Institutions APECCAM met in Douala to discuss the regulation. At the end of their meeting, they called for a relaxation of some of the provisions.
However, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the CEMAC region, stricter enforcement of exchange rate regulations would help improve the sub-region’s net foreign assets. The Bretton Woods institution also projects that from just three months currently, the said assets would rise to cover five months of import by 2022.