(Business in Cameroon) - In 2017, Cameroon disbursed CFA478 billion in import of staple products, the National Statistics Institute (INS) revealed in a recent report. Compared to 2013 when the country spent CFA522 billion, this represents a decline by CFA44 billion.
According to the document, the share of these imports in overall foreign trade deficit declined from a peak of 68% in 2008 to 43% in 2017. The country's shortfall in public finance over the period 2008-2015 is valued at CFA443 billion, due to looser conditions for imports of basic necessities. The resulting increase in imports, INS said, negatively affected the trade balance.
The five main products covered by these loosened measures (rice, frozen fish, wheat, powdered or concentrated milk and sugars) account for 74% of food imports in 2017 against 67% in 2016. “In terms of food dependence on foreign countries, these products imports represents an average of 19% in 2017 of total imports and 25% of imports excluding crude oil over the period under review; which implies weak food self-sufficiency,” INS noted.