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Automobile Industry : Manufacturers Explore Investment Opportunities

The Yaounde Conference Centre will from Thursday November 30 to December 3, 2017 hosts industry expe

Cameroon which is described as the economic heartbeat of the Central African sub-region is yet to have a car assembly plant of its own. The country with a stable and growing economy imports all kinds of automobiles and accessories from mostly East Asia, Europe, North America and South Africa. The National Ports Authority (which handles 99 per cent of the country’s imports) in its 2013 report published in 2014, stated that Cameroon imported some 187,580 tons of vehicles and engines representing 2.1 per cent of the country’s total import. The automobile industry is therefore a promising sector for both national and international investors given that Cameroon’s economy is on a steady rise.  It is therefore on this premise that “Cameroon Auto Expo 2017” organised by a Turkish firm “Expotim International Fair Organisation in partnership with State officials, is being organised at the Yaounde Conference Centre from Thursday November 30 to December 3, 2017. According to the organisers in a statement on the Auto Expo website, “Cameroon’s economy is expanding but without its own capacity for producing vehicles and auto parts.” The Cameroon Auto Expo, an international exhibition of the automotive components industry will provide the avenue for “international manufacturers of auto parts and accessories planning to invest in Cameroon to explore excellent opportunities available in the country. Manufacturers will during the 4-day event enter into business relationships with local buyers.  “Due to its geographical location, the country has good facilities and transport routes in Africa. Cameroon Auto Exo offers exhibitors and visitors adequate time for detailed technical and economic discussions to be concluded,” the organisers affirmed. The exhibition will include automotive parts and accessories, automotive systems, electronics, tools and machines amongst others.  It should be recalled that a car assembly plant has been announced in Kribi by Cameroon Automative Holding Company following a partnership deal between the government and a private Chinese firm a few years ago. In April 2017, the company organised an exhibition of the would be “Cameroon Auto” in Yaounde but the first “made in Cameroon” automobiles are yet to be seen.  Statistics from the Director General of Customs indicate that Cameroon imported 33,418 passenger cars in 2013 and 7,641 cargo vehicles during the same period, representing 2.8 per cent of the country’s total imports.

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