(Business in Cameroon) - Between 2001 and 2017, France’s market shares in Francophone Africa decreased tremendously. This was revealed by Compagnie française d’assurance pour le commerce extérieur (Coface) in the June 2018 edition of its economic publication.
As far as machine exports are concerned, France lost 20% of its market in some countries like Algeria, Morrocco, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. In Sénégal, it was 25%. According to Coface, this loss benefited Chinese companies which saw their market share rise considerably (15-20% and even 24% in Cameroon) in all the regions (even in the continent).
In the early 2000’s, France’s market share in the pharmaceutical industry in Francophone Africa was about 50% in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and in the Maghreb. In Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Togo, it was about 80%. Since that time however, the country’s market share in that industry has also fallen by 20%.
Unlike France, some countries such as Belgium, China, and India did particularly well in the region during the period under review.
France also lost shares in the automotive market due to the competition led by Chinese companies notably on the spare parts segment particularly in countries such as Cameroon, Senegal, Congo, Mali, Togo, Guinea, Benin, and Madagascar.
Coface adds that between 2001 and 2011, the volumes of exchanges between France and African countries increased 2.6 folds to exceed $77 billion. From 2011, this volume stagnated and even decreased slightly before crumbling in 2015 and 2016, around the same time with the fall in oil prices.
In 2017, the trade surplus decreased by half after a record $6 billion in 2015 and 2016.