By DOH JAMES SONKEY
After losing advantages of trade agreements signed between the EU and ACP countries of which Cameroon is among following its exit from the European Union last March 27, 2017, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has embarked on the negotiation of new agreements and conclusion of trade treaties with all its major partners in order to establish a bilateral partnership and avoid disrupting trade with such countries.
Within this framework therefore, the British Government got in touch with Cameroon last February 12, 2018 in order to initiate such negotiations. After two informal meetings between officials of both parties, authorities, The SUN gathered, are multiplying strategies to make sure that Cameroon reaps huge profit from its economic partnership accord with the UK.
Chairing a workshop to present and validate the draft final report of a study on the trade, economic and financial impact of bilateral economic partnership with the UK last May 8, 2019 in Yoaunde, on behalf of Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Jean Tchoffo said once the study carried out by BKP Economic Advisors is adopted, it will pave the way for formal negotiations to begin following an authorization from President Paul Biya last August 29, 2018.
In prelude to the formal negotiation phase, he explained, the Head of State prescribed a Follow-up and Coordination Committee for the negotiation of a bilateral economic partnership accord between Cameroon and the UK.
The MINEPAT SG explained that the study aims at making an appraisal of the situation and presenting prospects for trade, economic and financial relations between the two countries, assess the possible economic, trade and fiscal impacts of the EPA envisaged with this friendly country, and where necessary, guide negotiations and inform the government decisions to the best of Cameroon’s interest.
Cameroon expressed gratitude to the British Government for the full financial package made available by the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund for the realization of this highly valued studies, the results of which, will help to prepare national positions for negotiations seriously taking into account the interest of Cameroon for the conclusion of a comprehensive, fair and mutually beneficial bilateral EPA.
Negotiations ahead of the EPA to be concluded by 2021, with the UK shall consist of re-examining the legal instrument of the interim EPA between Cameroon and the European Union in view of its possible transposition to a post Brexit bilateral EPA between Cameroon and the UK.