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flag Cameroon Cameroon: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Cameroon | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. The African continent has posted an increase of 6.8% of FDI in 2013.

Cameroon receives little foreign direct investment (around 500 million USD in 2013), with net FDI flows representing a modest percentage of GDP. Mining, including oil extraction, remains the most targeted sector. France is the largest investor in the country.

The Cameroonian economy, which has the potential to become one of the most prosperous and best placed to receive foreign direct investment in Africa, is currently at the bottom of the table in terms of FDI attractiveness. The country indeed has many natural resources (oil, forestry, fisheries), as well as fertile land, on which to build, however, Cameroon has to improve and simplify its administration in order to boost entrepreneurship, and fight against corruption which has reached endemic proportions. The business climate in the country deteriorated in 2013.

Cameroon needs to attract foreign investors in order to finance its future projects of developing infrastructures and notably, the exploitation of gas.  Large French companies are well-placed in these developing sectors.  It is important to mention that Cameroon has attracted China's attention, since China has projects of investing in the African continent and notably in Cameroon.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Cameroon Sub-Saharan Africa United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 6.0 5.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 1.0 4.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 4.3 4.5 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 652526572
FDI Stock (million USD) 5,1415,6676,239
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 135--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 116--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 9310
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****)
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 19.321.722.3

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Cameroon

Strong Points
The country's strong points are:
- A cheap workforce; and
- Abundant natural resources;
The 2010-2011 economic plan contains measures likely to attract direct foreign investments, particularly in high capital areas (mining, food industry, energy and construction). In particular, the Cameroonian government is working on the establishment of a one-stop shop for the creation of companies.
Weak Points
The country's main weaknesses are:
- The cost and length of time required to create a company: 37 days for a cost of nearly 150% of the per capita income;
- Tax liability;
- Corruption; and
- The lack of infrastructure.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Cameroonian government has targeted certain sectors as priority sectors for investment: transport, food industry, tourism and rural development. In order to attract more investors, significant programs are being implemented by the public authorities, with the support of financial backers, in order to improve judicial decisions, increase energy supplies, reinforce economic information, simplify procedures, support companies, and ensure the protection of the economic area against illegal threats. Cameroon also has free trade zones in which all export companies can set themselves up, that is to say, companies that produce goods and provide services meant exclusively for export. There are a many advantages for companies: exemption from all licenses, authorization or quota limitation for both export and import, possibility of being able to open a foreign currency account, no restrictions on sales operations, purchase of foreign currency, right to transfer profits abroad (however 25% has to be re-invested in Cameroon), tax and duty exemption for a period of 10 years from the beginning of operations and taxation at a general rate of 15% on profits from the 11th year.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
In Cameroon, there is freedom of starting a trade.
Acquisition of Holdings
Foreign nationals can be 100% owners of a company.
Obligation to Declare
The World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies in the country gives information on the authorizations necessary for implantation.

Nevertheless, the candidate has to satisfy, according to the circumstances, the following conditions :
- to be registered either with the Registry of Commerce or with the Communal Repertory ;
- to have made a declaration of existence ;
- to possess a professional trader's card ;
- to dispose of property and material installations when they are necessary ;
- to respect other professional obligations, especially in tax matters ;
- to obtain a prior authorization (for foreign nationals)

Competent Organization For the Declaration
Cameroon Info
Invest in the Franc Zone
Government Portal
Requests For Specific Authorizations
For more information, click on Invest in the Franc Zone.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Cameroon on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Invest in the Franc Zone
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
ARMP, Public Oversight Body - Cameroon
AUF - Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (in French), Tenders, in French
Tenders Info, Tenders in Cameroon
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Cameroon
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) a group of the World Bank, finances projects in a variety of sectors; agro-industries, tourism.
La Caisse Commune d'Epargne et d'Investissement (CCEI) (The Bank for Loans and Investments) (in French)
The Cameroon Banking Corporation (CBC)

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Learn more about Investing in Cameroon on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014