Tunisia has exported its first shipment of resin to Cameroon under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), announced the Export Promotion Centre (CEPEX).
Customs clearance of the shipment, which includes 60 tonnes of resin worth Ꞓ90,000 (around TND 204,000), was carried out by the Cameroonian institution of the “Port Autonome de Kribi” (PAK).
This operation marks a decisive step towards closer economic cooperation within the AfCFTA, added CEPEX in a press release issued on Thursday.
“It will offer opportunities for fruitful exchanges between the participating countries and pave the way for a promising future for Africa’s economic integration.”
Tunisia’s Ambassador to Yaoundé Karim Ben Bécher underlined the importance of this first operation between Tunisia and Cameroon, which remains Tunisia’s leading partner in Central Africa and its 4th largest client in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This operation will be the cornerstone for the launch of a new era of pan-African trade,” he said.
Cameroon’s Minister of Trade, Luc-Magloire Mbarga Atangana reiterated for his part, the need to step up product export operations to ensure the effective inclusion of African countries in the AfCFTA.
He pointed to the need to develop the services associated with this trade, to help Africa produce what it consumes and consume what it produces.
The Ministry of Trade and Export Development announced on May 17, 2023 that two Tunisian export companies operating in the chemicals and food industries had been awarded the first certificates of origin under the AfCFTA agreement to export to Cameroon.
The certificate of origin, which is considered a key element in the effective entry into force of the agreement, will allow companies to benefit from the reductions in customs duties that are due to be abolished within two years.
Tunisia, Cameroon and six other member states (Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius) joined the AfCFTA, which aims to facilitate trade through a selection of companies and products for export and import between member states.
The AfCFTA agreement came into force in May 2019. It was ratified by Tunisia on August 7, 2020. It is one of the African Union’s (AU) flagship projects that seeks to boost South-South cooperation for an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful” Africa, in line with the AU’s Agenda 2063, and to cement trade relations between the union’s 55 member states, in a market totalling over 300 million consumers and $3,400 billion in annual trade.
The agreement aims to remove customs barriers to the free movement of goods and services between African countries.