(Business in Cameroon) - GICAM, the largest employers’ group in Cameroon, is currently finetuning its internal project for the creation of a competition observatory. According to the presentation made last October 6, during the second edition of the “Journée de la conjoncture au Gicam” (GICAM Economy day), the observatory will help reduce “market distortions to improve competitiveness for companies and attractiveness of the national economic area.”
To achieve these ambitions, the observatory will rollout tools like surveillance (through surveys notably), case studies, analysis of regulatory texts, and census to know companies’ views on the subject. It will also organize training and awareness-raising campaigns for consumers, certification agencies, technical experts. Its actions will also include lobbying public authorities and development partners.
For the GICAM, such actions could help reduce the various forms of unfair competition like contraband, illicit trades, the informal sector, and the competitive distortions caused by derogatory waivers. Such waivers include tax and customs incentives granted to new investors to the detriment of already existing ones.
The employers’ group explains that during the last business census organized by the National Institute for Statistics, business executives identified unfair competition as the fifth major problem affecting their operations. It shrinks formal businesses’ market share, pushes companies out of some market segments, discourages innovation, hinders competitiveness, and causes job losses, the GICAM lists.