Biya regime explores new avenues of cooperation with UAE investors 0

Investors from the United Arab Emirate and Cameroon gathered on Thursday in Dubai to explore ways of strengthening business relations, investment opportunities and discussing prospects on signing mutually-beneficial partnership agreements.

During the ‘Cameroon Investment Week’ Investment Forum, which took place at Jafza 1 Convention Center, Jebel Ali Free Zone, the two countries delve into viable business and investment opportunities.

To foster discussions, the event assembled major high-profile stakeholders including; Technical Advisor for Economic Affairs at the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon:  Jean Claude AYEM MOGER;  Abdulla Al Saleh, Under Secretary of the Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy; Iya Tidjan, Ambassador to the Cameroon Embassy in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and the General Manager of the Investment Promotion Agency Cameroon Mrs. Marthe Angéline MINJA.

The event was also be attended by several top CEOs, managers of local governmental and private economic entities as well as representatives of the Cameroonian business community.Abdulla Al Saleh said,” The volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Cameroon reached $406 million in the first nine month of 2020 with a over 5 per cent increase compared to the same period of 2021.”

He added,” This forum is a perfect platform to explore the new avenues of cooperation between the two countries.”

The Investment Forum featured an interesting panel discussion about Cameroon’s Business environment and investment opportunities in strategic sectors like oil, port, aeronautics, electricity & decentralization.

During the event, institutions from the UAE and Cameroon signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create an attractive environment for UAE companies willing to invest in Cameroon, encourage the exchange of trade missions, and facilitate information exchange between the parties. The Mou’s were signed between:

Investment Promotion Agency Cameroon & UAE International Investors Council,    Investment Promotion Agency Cameroon & UAE Trade Centre,    United Councils & Cities Cameroon & UAE Trade Centre, Miller & Associates and UAE Trade Center and Investment Promotion Agency Cameroon & XFusion.

Mrs.  Marthe Angeline MINJA, General Manager of Investment Promotion Agency Cameroon, on this occasion said: “Cameroon, Africa in miniature, is not coming empty-handed to this give-and-take forum. Indeed, it has abundant assets, hence its attractiveness”

Walid Hareb AlFalahi, CEO of Dubai Consultancy & UAE Trade Center, expressed: “Cameroon is an emerging and ambitious economy, and it is evident that there is considerable scope to extend bilateral trade between UAE and Cameroon which would enable investment flows into priority sectors such as renewable energy, technology and logistics. UTC has been playing a key role in driving investment into key sectors in Africa and we are looking forward to play a key role in driving investment into Cameroon and further strengthen the relationship between UAE and Cameroon.”

The focus of this gathering was Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) attraction which are generally characterized by huge investment projects, high rate of job creation, a significant contribution to infrastructural development and transfer of technology, as well as their support to adding value to local resources. Thus, this event became a platform to ensure the attraction of sustainable FDIs in a bid to fast-track the achievement of Cameroon’s development goals.

In its 2022 investment report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranked the UAE as 17th country globally and first Arab country in the world in terms of FDI outflows that totaled $22.5 billion USD in 2021, reflecting a 19% growth compared to their 2020 records which clearly underlines the growing interest among UAE entities in investing in foreign markets and the positive effects that these entities experience from outward FDI.  According to a 2021 report and survey commissioned by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, sectors including fintech, agriculture, health tech and e-commerce display great potential in African markets, provided companies can access the necessary investments to address challenges such as weak digital infrastructure, limited public amenities and unfamiliar regulations. The same survey from Dubai Chamber found that among business leaders in Africa, fintech is expected to see the most growth in 2022 — of up to 89 per cent, followed by agriculture and food processing, by 89 and 87 per cent, respectively. These figures indicate Africa’s position as an attractive investment destination with the potential to generate higher returns on investment in the long term.

The Investment Forum therefore form a part of undertakings to ensure continuity of the UAE-Cameroon business relationship.

Source: Gulf Today