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Yaoundé - 26 February 2024 -
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Cameroon boosts local wood processing with new industrial zones

Cameroon boosts local wood processing with new industrial zones
  • Comments   -   Thursday, 18 January 2024 13:46

(Business in Cameroon) - The Mission for the Development and Management of Industrial Zones in Cameroon (Magzi), a government-owned entity overseeing industrial land, has assigned two zones in the Eastern region exclusively for local wood processing in the forestry sector. Spanning a total area of 224 hectares, as revealed in the 2022 report on the state of public enterprises and establishments published by the Technical Commission for the Rehabilitation of Public and Parastatal Sector Enterprises (CTR), these sites are located in Doumé-Bonis (104 hectares) and Mandjo Kano (120 hectares).

This Magzi move aligns with the Cameroonian government's commitment to promoting local wood processing and falls within the context of a long-planned ban on log exports in the CEMAC zone, a measure currently postponed indefinitely. According to the CTR, the establishment of local wood processing units in Doume-Bonis and Mandjo Kano "is likely to generate 55,000 direct jobs, with a positive impact on the country's budgetary revenues."

In recent years, Cameroon has been actively encouraging the second and third transformation of its wood industry to add more value. This commitment is reflected in fiscal and customs measures aimed at promoting local wood processing and discouraging the export of unprocessed or minimally processed wood. For instance, from 2017 to 2024, the Cameroonian government progressively increased the log export duty from 17.5% to 75%, representing a relative taxation increase of 428.6%.

Furthermore, in the circulars related to the preparation of the 2023 and 2024 budgets, President Paul Biya explicitly instructs the government to "prioritize locally manufactured furniture in public procurement" instead of imported furniture. The 2024 budget introduces a 25% excise duty on imports of wooden structures, metal furniture used in offices, wooden furniture used in kitchens, and plastic furniture, aiming to raise the cost of imports and encourage the purchase of locally manufactured wooden furniture.

To facilitate the establishment of industrial carpentry in Cameroon, the 2023 budget of the State of Cameroon grants exemptions from taxes on equipment used in wood processing. These safeguard and promotion measures for the local forestry industry are eagerly anticipated for their impact.

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