Country Information - Cameroon
ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDThe economy is mainly agricultural. The principal commercial crops are cocoa, coffee, tobacco, cotton and bananas. Petroleum products make up more than half of all exports. Timber is also a major export.
In the early 1980s, Cameroon was one of Africa's economic success stories. However, underlying economic and policy weaknesses were exposed in 1985 when sharp declines in coffee, cocoa and oil prices led to a 60 percent degeneration in the external terms of trade. In addition to this severe terms of trade shock and the over-valued exchange rate up to 1994, Cameroon's economic depression was also caused by a fiscal crisis and, until about four years ago, economic mismanagement. The government was slow to carry out necessary structural reforms which would have enabled it to benefit more from the January 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc. Since late 1996, Cameroon changed course and committed itself to correcting the years of economic mismanagement.
Macroeconomic performance has been satisfactory since 1996 with growth rates rising to almost 5 percent during 1996-2000. Encouraging progress has been made in macroeconomic stability, public finance, relations with external creditors, restructuring the banking system, privatization, economic liberalization, transportation, and forestry. This "first generation" of reforms has shown the government's commitment to revamping the economy and to creating a more conducive basis for sustained growth. However, economic reform has so far brought few tangible benefits for the poor. Poverty reduction continues to be a daunting challenge with dilapidated physical infrastructure and poor public delivery of basic social services. (Source: World Bank Group)
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BI-LATERAL TRADE OVERVIEWBi-lateral trade between Cameroon and the United States has been increasing steadily in recent years. The country currently records a trade deficit with the U.S., which during 2002 amounted to approximately $ 17 million (2001: $ 80 million). This is in contrast to the trade surplus recorded in 2000, and follows a significant decrease in exports to the U.S., and a concurrent 3-fold increase in imports from that country in 2001. Full year data for 2002 shows a significant reversal of this trend.
Cameroon exports some of its output duty-free to the U.S. under AGOA, although these exports (amounting to $ 115 million in 2002 and $ 37 million in 2001) consisted almost solely of energy-related products (e.g. oil)(see link to Country Trade Profile below). In 2002, over 80% of Cameroon's energy-related exports to the U.S. were AGOA eligible (up from 40% the previous year), while this category accounted for approximately 80% of Cameroon's total exports to the U.S. during 2002.
Detailed bilateral trade data for this country, disaggregated by industry sector, can be accessed by following the link below. Aggregate data featuring all AGOA-eligible countries is updated on this website as soon as new data is published, including ranked AGOA / non-AGOA trade, aggregate trade by industry sector as well as the latest apparel trade data.
Click here for Detailed Trade Profile
21 AGOA FORUM 2013: Ethiopia will host the 2013 US-Africa AGOA Forum. AGOA.info has been informed that the Forum will not take place as envisaged on 28 June - 1 July, but at a later date yet to be determined. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Trade and Technology for sustained change”“
21 December 2012: Guinea-Bissau and Mali lose AGOA eligibility
APRIL 2013: Monthly data has been updated to include February 2013 data, quarterly includes full year 2012 data.
New US strategy towards Africa: White House Factsheet on new strategy towards Africa, plus overview of past US engagement with Africa. Click here for the file and this link for a summary article.
02 August 2012: Bill to extend third country fabric provision passes Congress Download the House of Reps. Bill at this link
South Sudan declared AGOA-eligible on 26 March 2012. Earlier, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Gambia declared AGOA eligible on 25 October 2011. See news item, presidential declaration and trade overview at this link (S Sudan) and here (others).
US GSP extended and GSP benefits to be applied retrospectively for the year 2011 since expiry of previous GSP. See AGOA.info legal documents section at the following link.
AGOA at 10: Reflections on US-Africa trade with a focus on SACU: Tralac Working Paper that can be downloaded at this
December 2010: The Democratic Republic of Congo loses its AGOA eligibility status. See proclamation here (pdf download available at this link
ITC investigation of textiles and apparel: Further details at this link
AGOA IV – Changes to AGOA explained
For disaggregated trade data covering each AGOA country, follow the relevant link in the Country Sections (left column) or click here.
For detailed AGOA maps click here