Commercial engagements between India and Cameroon have dropped by 46 per cent due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which broke out in Cameroon in March 2020.
This was made known by the outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Cameroon, Rakesh Malhotra during a farewell meeting with Cameroon’s Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana in Yaounde last week.
“Before the coronavirus, the level of exchanges stood at 900 million US dollars (about 506.74 billion FCFA). Henceforth, there is a drop of 46%. For us, there would be the question of increasing the level again,” the Indian diplomat said.
To reverse the trend, the Indian High Commissioner invited business operatives in Cameroon to go to India to create new contacts and experience the reality which Indian markets offer.
“Our products are competitive in the world market. It is easy to obtain business visas so the two parties are called upon to sit down together and see what India can bring to the Cameroonian economy,” Malhotra declared, adding that “our projects for Cameroon are related to the pharmaceutical and engineering sectors.”
“Something has to be done with the Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Artisans of Cameroon. We are on good foot and the situation is going to improve,” Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana said.
As of 2019, India was the third commercial partner of Cameroon with 11 per cent of trade exchanges behind China with 18.4 per cent and Italy with 12.2 per cent, according to the National Institute of Statistics.
That year, Cameroon sold mainly cotton to India with 5.4 per cent exports, liquefied natural gas at 36.8 per cent and crude oil at 56.6 per cent.
With 3.2 per cent of the market, India was the 8th supplier of goods to Cameroon behind China with 16.1 per cent, France with 8.1 per cent, Togo with 6.6 per cent , Nigeria with 6.3%, Belgium with 5.7 per cent, Thailand with 4.8 per cent and The Netherlands with 3.5 per cent.
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