2010 Investment Climate Statement


March 2010

Openness to Foreign Investment
The Government of Cameroon seeks to attract foreign investment in order to create much-needed economic growth and new employment. Nonetheless, prospective foreign investors should be aware that Cameroon is still marked by endemic corruption that makes it one of the world’s most challenging business climates.
Cameroon’s legislative body, the National Assembly, adopted a new Investment Charter in April 2002 to attract international investors and replace the existing Investment Code of 1990. The 2002 Investment Charter has not been fully implemented. In May 2009, President Paul Biya signed a decree postponing the deadline for implementation of some provisions of the investment charter to 2014.
The 2010 revenue bill has eliminated the tax on registering for incorporation and the tax on corporate equity offerings.
The National Assembly passed legislation in 2008 to deal with large infrastructure projects worth more than $200 million. Benefits include tax incentives, such as an exemption on the Value-Added Tax (VAT). The relevant portions of the 1990 Investment Code - notably the provisions contained in the 1990 free trade zone legislation - remain in effect until the full implementation of the 2002 Investment Charter. Thus, investors must sort through conflicting and confusing legislation on investment.
If the 2002 Investment Charter becomes operational, it will establish three procedures for government screening of both foreign and domestic investments. The “automatic regime” permits investment without prior government approval. The “returns regime” permits investment after an application and the passage of two days without government objection, while the “approval regime" permits investment after an application and the expiry of fifteen days. Pending issuance of implementing regulations, however, it is unclear which process applies...