(Business in Cameroon) - Between 2015 and 2017, Cameroon spent XAF9,634 billion in imports according to figures provided by the trade minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana (photo), during a cabinet meeting held January 31, 2019 in Yaoundé.
This amount, the official said, was mainly steered towards hydrocarbons (XAF1,652.1 billion over the period reviewed), motor vehicles and tractors (XAF653.6 billion), consumer products such as rice (XAF508.5 billion), fish and shellfish (XAF448 billion), and pharmaceutical products (XAF372 billion). Overall, the money spent to import these items accounted for 35% of the total import spending from 2015 to 2017 which in turn is twice the State budget for 2019 balanced up to XAF4,850 billion in revenues and expenditures.
“Our country imports foodstuffs as well as manufactured products that can actually be produced locally to satisfy not only local demand but also the regional market. These imports, we can well imagine, significantly weigh on our economy,” Mr. Atangana said while presenting “the strategy to boost made-in-Cameroon products to cut import”.
“Without claiming self-sufficiency, our county is capable of keeping import volumes in check by limiting it to what’s really needed, this means just to products that can boost our economy and make it more competitive,” he added.
Brice R. Mbodiam