Commerce Minister Advocates for WTO Fishing Subsidies Amendment

On June 18, 2024, Cameroon’s Minister of Commerce, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, addressed the Foreign Affairs Commission of the National Assembly. He argued for the ratification of the WTO ’s Protocol amending the Marrakesh Agreement to include the historic Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.

The agreement, originating from the 1994 Marrakesh Conference, aims to improve living standards, ensure full employment, increase production and trade, and optimize global resource use. It provides developing countries with flexibilities known as Special and Differential Treatment, allowing them to implement the agreement effectively.

Minister Mbarga Atangana emphasized the need for Cameroon to ratify the agreement promptly. He noted that two-thirds of WTO members must deposit their instruments of acceptance for the agreement to take effect. Currently, 51 members, including 13 African countries, have ratified it.

Moreover, Cameroon, as the African Group Coordinator at WTO conferences, played a pivotal role in facilitating the consensus for this agreement. Highlighting the agreement’s benefits, the minister mentioned that it would limit predatory activities by foreign vessels, contributing to sustainable fishing practices.

Cameroon’s role as the host for the 14th WTO Ministerial Conference in early 2026 underscores its commitment to an open economy and a rules-based multilateral trading system.

This marks the first time a Central African country will host such a significant global event since Marrakesh in 1994 and Nairobi in 2015.

In other news, on June 11, 2024, Minister Achille Bassilekin III of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy, and Handicrafts met with the Board of Directors from the Cameroon Business Association Group (GECAM) at his office.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has Launched an Annual Tax Summary eBulletin for Public Employees.

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