Ekoko Mukete, Vice President of the Cameroon Chamber of Commerce has urged the governments of Cameroon and the Kingdom of Belgium to continue to enhance mutually beneficial partnership. The prominent Cameroon businessman made the appeal during a meeting with a 30-man trade and economic mission from Belgian currently visiting Cameroon. The Belgian delegation was received in Douala on May 8 by authorities of the Region in the presence of the Belgian Ambassador to Cameroon, Jan de Bruyne, the delegation had their first-ever business contact with local investors the economic capital, Douala, and then headed to Limbe in the South West Region. For over a week the visitors who are from the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency, AWEX, and Brussels invest & Export will hold business exchanges in Douala and Limbe.
Ekoko Mukete, Vice President of the Cameroon Chamber of Commerce, used the meeting between business people from Cameroon and Belgium to call on both governments and business people of both countries to continue to enhance cooperation. Maysol Michez-Smets, West Africa Project Manager, who led the delegation of Belgian investors, thanked the government of Cameroon for accepting the exchanges. In 2012, for example, total trade exchanges between Cameroon and Belgium was about FCFA 185 billion, with a deficit on the part of Cameroon. Although business exchanges between the two countries is constantly on the rise, it is yet to attain the proportion of exchanges Cameroon has with its major economic partners.
From 2009 to 2013 Cameroon’s import from Belgium witnessed an increase of 16 per cent, representing 7.2 per cent of all imported goods on the Cameroonian market. Major goods from Belgium included alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks which rose to about 113 per cent, followed by combustible minerals with 110 per cent, ready-made clothes and accessories 103 per cent, and special fabric which rose to 102 per cent. Export volume of goods from Cameroon to Belgium represented 5 per cent of all exports from Cameroon to other countries, within the same period. Cameroon’s main export goods to Belgium wood and its derivatives, chemical and organic products, iron, cocoa, coffee, tea, among others. Since 2009, Belgium has been offering financial support to Cameroon for projects such as equipment and port surveillance installation at the Douala seaport, dredging of the seaport and the rehabilitation of the bridge over the Sanaga River to the total tune of over FCFA 16 billion.