The amelioration of the business environment constitutes one of the major axes of government action to making Cameroon a convincing and more attractive destination in terms of investment. For this reason, a consultation framework of all the stakeholders called the CAMEROON BUSINESS FORUM (CBF) has been created on the ashes of the ex-Inter-ministerial Committee Extended to the Private Sector (ICEPS) which had become ill adapted to the challenges of the time.
The CBF held its first session on 18 February 2010 in Yaound├®, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Philemon YANG, Prime Minister and Head of Government. At the end of the said deliberations, the participants from various government departments as well as those from the private sector, in the presence of members of the Diplomatic Corps and Cameroon’s development partners formulated a series of recommendations, twenty-seven (27) in number, meant to support the growth of the Cameroonian economy through the amelioration of the business environment.
TO GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES, the recommendations are as follows:
1. Make functional the Committee for the Follow up and evaluation of activities of the Cameroon Business Forum, created by Decision No.031/PM of 12 February 2010 ;
2. Sign the circular recalling the updated procedures and the documents required for business creation in Cameroon ;
3. Make operational at least one of the Pilot Centres for the facilitation of business creation, under the banner of the Ministry in charge of SMEs ;
4. Elaborate a priority plan of actions of tax reforms for 2011 ;
5. Finalise the Terms of reference relating to electronic declaration and electronic payment ;
6. Finalise and implement the reform relating to the twinning of the procedures of registration of statutes and the establishment of the taxpayer’s card;
7. Ease the adoption of the text on the institution of specialised Chambers in courts for commercial disputes;
8. Complete the reform relating to the liberalisation of the publication of legal announcements;
9. Finalise the text relating to the transfer of data and electronic commerce ;
10. Intensify in large scale information, training and supervision of authorised shippers and Customs brokers, charged with carrying out the formalities of goods clearance ;
11. Accelerate the realisation of the projected information systems at the Douala port ;
12. Consolidate the implementation of the harmonisation of maritime documents ;
13. Complete the regulatory text to institute specialised squads for commercial enterprises, relating to the issuance of title deeds;
14. Publish the texts on clarification of the procedures and documents required for obtaining building permits from the city councils of Douala and Yaound├® ;
15. Finalise the studies on an eventual reform of excise duties and submit the report to the sanction of the MINFI ;
16. Make operational the Approved Tax Management Centres;
17. Launch the activities of the divisional taxation Centres dedicated to small enterprises for Douala and Yaound├®.
TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR, the following recommendations were adopted:
18. Engage an information and sensitisation campaign with the very small, small and medium size enterprises on the advantages of the Approved Tax Management Centres;
19. Help in the facilitation of the reduction of the time frame for the payment of the bills of SME with big enterprises ;
20. Engage an information and sensitisation campaign with enterprises, on the benefits they can derive from the GICAM Arbitration Centre in the event of commercial disputes.
FOR GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS:
21. Reinforce the upgrading of enterprises and accelerate the putting in place of the sub-contracting Stock market ;
22. Finalise the law on the promotion of SMEs ;
23. Make operational the Committee to fight against counterfeiting ;
24. Create a bank for the financing of SMEs ;
25. Study the eventuality of the institution of reduced rates in terms of VAT and propose, if need be, measures relating thereto in the 2011 draft Finance Bill ;
26. Study the possibility of reduction in the rate of the company tax and propose, if necessary, measures relating thereto in the 2011 draft Finance Bill ;
27. Finalise the studies relating to the reform of the tax regimes and to the instauration of a general synthetic tax and propose the draft text relating thereto in the 2011 draft Finance Bill .
It should be noted that the Ministry of Finance has the responsibility of implementing a substantial number of these recommendations, which for the main part have a direct impact on the business environment in Cameroon.