By Eric Tataw – Monday March 11, 2019.
Cameroon has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since December 13, 1995, and has now received a big blow from the organization, National Telegraph has learned.
The World Trade Organization is an intergovernmental organization that is concerned with the regulation of international trade between nations founded, January 1, 1995, with headquarters in Geneva,
WTO deals with the global rules of trade between nations with its main task being to ensure that global trade flows. Suspending a country from it is a big blow to that country’s economy, National Telegraph learned from the organization’s website.
According to a source at the organization’s head office in Geneva, Switzerland, Cameroon has been suspended for non-payment of over one hundred and eighty (180) million F CFA being its contribution as part of the intergovernmental states.
Meanwhile, in Cameroon, Business In Cameroon says Cameroon’s Trade Minister, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, has referred the matter to the Prime Minister’s office on March 5, requesting that the country complies with the requirements of WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
“I have the honor to inform you, Mr. Prime Minister, Head of Government, that the arrears of our contributions to the World Trade Organization have now peaked at XAF138 million for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018,” the trade minister wrote, stressing there is another XAF42 million to be paid for the FY2019, making an aggregate amount of XAF180 million, Business In Cameroon states.
The network opines that the Minister is of the opinion that Cameroon is currently subject to category III administrative sanctions, which consist of the suspension of all technical assistance activities and the denial of any access to training organized by the WTO, adding that only clearance of these arrears would allow Cameroon to regain its rights within the Organization.
Cameroon is presently facing a serious economic recession with the State Treasury almost dry, sources from the country’s Finance Ministry have suggested. The country has spent and is still spending billions trying to contain an armed conflict in its two English-speaking regions.
The unrest began in October 2016 as a disagreement in language but government mismanaged it and has now turned into a demand by Anglophone militias in the North West and South West for a separate state called Ambazonia. Gunbattles have ensued and the government’s coffers are bleeding.
Unfortunately for Cameroon, WTO has a no-nonsense boss. Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo is a Brazilian diplomat and the current Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Azevêdo was elected to succeed Pascal Lamy as Director-General of the World Trade Organization in May 2013 and assumed office on September 1, 2013, and would take nothing less from the Paul Biya regime.
The United States just in February suspended its security assistance to Cameroon following credible allegations that the Cameroonian military carried out human rights violations in the two English-speaking regions.