Doing business in Cameroon as we have been researching, is not only easier to start and set up, but it has many incentives to lure more private investors both nationals and non-nationals living in or out of Cameroon. These incentives are contained in the Law N° 2013/004 of 18 April 2013 to lay down private investment incentives in the Republic of Cameroon. This law provides tax and customs incentives with financial and administrative incentives which makes it possible for investors to benefit from different incentives during the establishment and operation phases of the business. These incentives include at least an uninterrupted five year exoneration from a variety of stamp duties and fees listed in Sections 6 of this law as well as Section 7(1) of this law which exonerates the investor from a number of further taxes, duties and fees.
After the expiry of this period above, the investor will automatically be subjected to ordinary law. The investor may benefit from a variety of financial and administrative incentives stipulated in sections 12 and 13 of this law if he or she meets up with the obligations incumbent on them like the respect to the exchange rate regime and tax legislation . Part three of the law to lay down private investment incentives puts a priority sectors of investment as stipulated in section 14 which says in addition to the above-mentioned incentives, specific incentives may be
provided to enterprises which carry out investments that contribute to the attainment of the following priority objectives;
– Development of agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and plant, animal or fishery product packaging activities;
– Development of tourism and leisure facilities, social economy and handicraft;
– Development of housing, including social housing;
– Promotion of agro-industry, manufacturing industries, industry, construction materials, iron and steel industry, construction, maritime and navigation activities;
– Development of energy and water supply; encouragement of regional development and decentralization;
– The fight against pollution and environmental protection;
– Promotion and transfer of innovative technologies and research and development;
– Promotion of exports;
– Promotion of employment and vocational training
With regards to the different sectors relating to the development of existing enterprises, the section it states any existing and operating enterprise carrying out an investment programme aimed at production capacity extension, assets renewal or performance enhancement may, for a period not exceeding 5 (five) years, benefits from the common incentives referred to in Section 7 of this law, where such investment programme ensures increase in production of goods and services or in Cameroonian staff strength by at least 20%.
Any investor seeking the incentives as provided in the law, shall be subject to an approval Regime as defined by the Investment Charter. In this regard, the investor shall submit an application file to the One-Stop-Shop established within the jurisdiction of projected operation in charge of:
– Promoting SMEs; and
– Promoting investment, for other local and foreign investors.
(2) The composition of the file referred to in paragraph 1 above shall be determined by regulation.
(3) The one-stop-shop shall issue a receipt to the investor concerned. It shall have two days to review the file and forward same to the Minister of Finance. The constitution of files and the procedure (as cited above) to be followed for SMEs with the deadline for verification and approval is laid down from Sections 18 to 20 of the law for subsequent treatment by the Ministry of Private Investment with assent from Minister of Finance. Finally, it should be noted that in accordance with section 22 of the law on incentives, a Monitoring Committee set up by decree of the President of the Republic shall, in conjunction with the services of the respective ministries in charge of finance, private investment and labour, monitor actual investment and consider investor’s appeals within a deadline specified.
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