Netherlands African Business Council goes on Trade Mission to Cameroon

As part of strengthening economic and trade ties between Cameroon and the Netherlands, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Yaounde and the Netherlands African Business Council (NABC), an institution responsible for promoting Dutch investment abroad jointly organized a Trade mission to Cameroon from 22 to 27 May 2011. 

The trade mission included a delegation of Dutch traders and businessmen specialized in transportation, financing of small and medium enterprises; industrial buildings, public works, and Seaport infrastructure. Their main aim was to exploit and study the many business opportunities in the domains listed above. Prominent among the delegation was the Assistant Director of SSA to the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Ms. Carmen Hagenaars. 

Meanwhile, prior to the Dutch delegation’s departure to Cameroon, the Cameroon Head of Mission on April 28, 2011 at 3:00 p.m in Amsterdam co-chaired an information and orientation meeting alongside Businessman and head of the Dutch Delegation Mr. Ben Zwinkels. The meeting was to better educate the delegates about Cameroon. It should be noted that Amsterdam is headquarters of the Ter Haak Group. 

During their stay in Cameroon, the delegates benefited from the assistance of the Second Secretary, at the Cameroonian Embassy in the Hague Mr. Jean Patrice Koe Jr. who also accompanied them to Cameroon. Mr. Koe was present with the Delegation at all stages. They visited and interacted with members of government, senior Public officials and leaders of private organizations. 

In relations to the public sector, the Dutch delegation held meetings in Yaoundé, with officials of the following ministries: 

-Minister of Public Works;

-Minister of Fisheries and Animal Industries;

-Secretary of State for Transport;

-The Secretary General of Ministry of External Relations;

-The Secretary General of Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Use (MINEPAT). 

During the various hearings, government officials emphasized the fact that Cameroon has the leading economy in the CEMAC zone. Concerning the different economic sectors, members of government and the various public officials enlightened the delegates in regards to the many opportunities and possibilities that abound in Cameroon. 

Regarding the business environment, the Secretary General at MINEPAT focused, first on the tax benefits offered by the Cameroon investment charter as well as the determination of the highest authorities in Cameroon in the fight against corruption through awareness and law enforcement as spelled out in an operation codenamed “operation clean hands”. 

Speaking through their head of Delegation and interpreter, Mr. Ben Zwinkels, the delegates thanked the Cameroon government officials for the warm reception accorded them and most importantly, for the quality of exchanges. Mr. Ben Zwinkels on their behalf also presented the potential of Dutch investors in their various sectors. He expressed the interest of the Dutch in doing business in Cameroon, particularly because of Cameroon’s proximity to Nigeria and its position in Central Africa. This position therefore makes Cameroon one of the most favourable countries in that region because Cameroon can act as a hub that favours potential Dutch companies if they wish to expand in the region, e.g to Nigeria, Gabon etc. 

The field visits were organized by the Port Authority, the CDC, the Group AZUR, and SOCAPALM. During these field trips, the Dutch traders were able to experience up close, the real needs, opportunities and benefits offered by the institutions visited. The trips were one of the most valued experiences of potential Dutch investors. 

The highlight of this segment of the meetings was undoubtedly the “Business to Business” meeting organized in the headquarters of Inter employers (GICAM) in Douala on May 25, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. Also in attendance were representatives of 40 Cameroonian companies, tailored to meet the desire of the Dutch traders. The Dutch delegates expressed their satisfaction after the practical encounter. 

The trade mission to Cameroon has been largely hailed as a success. All parties involve, the Dutch and Cameroonian officials and contractors agree that further communication and collaboration must take place and that the exchanges need to be deepened. 

Below is the list of Dutch Entrepreneurs who made the trip to Cameroon 

–        Mr. Ben Zwinkels: Senior Investment Officer, FMO (Head of Delegation)

–        Ms Marina Diboma: NABC, coordination;

–        Mr. Henrik Stevens, Director HSB International;

–        Mr. Christian Sangwa, Sales Manager Kleyn Trucks BV;

–        Mr. Jan van Vulpen, General Manager, Remco Ruimtebouw;

–        Mrs. Angelique Mbundu, Marketer Africa, Remco Ruimtebouw;

–        Mr. Hein Verloop, Chairman, Sovec Fund;

–        Mr. Joppe Schouten, Export manager, Van Beest;

–        Mr. Gert Pomstra, Area Manager Africa, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors;

–        Mr. Patrick Onderwater, Project Manager, Van Vliet Trucks Holland B.V. BV;

–        Mr. Patrick Verbiest, Director, V HI- P.


Please take a few minutes to go through PHOTOS of NABC Trade Mission to Cameroon 

 or Click photo above to go to gallery

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