I- BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE CONCEPT OF ETDs
Cameroon Economic and Trade Days are the materialization of the will of the government to conquer and diversify Cameroon’s foreign commercial partners. They are also aimed at improving supply capacities in terms of quantity and quality of our products abroad. Also, ETDs offer the opportunity, through a business forum, to establish partnerships between private operators and attract foreign investors to our country.
ETDs are part of a comprehensive strategy implemented by the government. They are made up of some steps, which do not necessarily unfold successively. They are aimed at :
- firstly, consolidating our leadership position of CEMAC through a more increased presence of Cameroonian products in the markets of the sub region. This presence has to spread beyond CEMAC and cover ECCAS;
- secondly, taking a more conquering step towards Nigeria, this giant with whom Cameroon shares a border of more than 1 000km and which offers a vast creditworthy market. The settling of the Bakassi disputewhich encouraged the normalization of the relations between our two countries represent a bargain which we have to take hold of in order to ensure that our products are present in the Nigerian market.Hence the recurrence of the presence of at least one Nigerian town in each edition of the ETDs since 2008 ;
- thirdly, while reinforcing exchanges with European and North American markets, it is advisable to carry out actions which aim to facilitate the capitalisation of opportunities offered by the signing of EPA and the AGOA initiative. Also, a serious and diligent exploration of South American and Asian markets should be done.
II- A GENERAL SURVEY OF THE EVOLUTION OF ETDs THROUGH THE YEARS
Since 2008, only Nigeria hashosted ETDs: inaugurated in Calabar to celebrate the newly found peace, after the signing of the Green Tree Accord, and to relaunch trade between both countries.
In 2010, it was the turn of the citiesof Port Harcourt and Kano to welcome ETDs, from 13 – 17 September 2010 and 21 – 24 November 2010 respectively.
In the same year, those of Bata and Libreville were also scheduled. These did not take place due to constraints on the political calendar of the two countries concerned.
In 2012, Cameroon made an additional step by going beyond CEMAC and neighbouring Nigeria. Hence, ETDs are scheduled to be held in:
- Casablanca, in Morocco, 25 – 29 April 2012;
- Chicago and Washington DC, in the United States, 13 – 17 June 2012;
- Sao Paolo in Brazil, in July;
- Lagos in Nigeria, in July equally.
III -FACILITIES PROVIDED BY THE MINISTRY OF TRADE
In order to ensure a massive participation of Cameroonian economic operators, the MINISTRY OF TRADE gives them some facilities. These include:
- making it possible for registered operators to obtain visas;
- transportation, to and fro, of the products to be exhibited, from Cameroon to the city where ETDs are scheduled to take place and the authorized weight per person is based on the cost of transportation of the available means;
- free exhibition booths ;
- production of a brochure introducing the participating companies.