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Economic Forum identifies potential areas of cooperation as Pizzarotti Company announces the construction of 10,000 low cost houses in Yaounde.
The signing of the Commercial Contract between the Cameroon government represented by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and that of State Property and Land Tenure on the one hand and the Italian company, Pizzarotti on the other, featured prominently at the Cameroon-Italy Economic Forum that took place at the Yaounde Hilton yesterday, March 17 on the occasion of the State visit to Cameroon of the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella.
According to the terms of the contract, the Italian company will construct 10,000 low cost houses in Yaounde, precisely in Mbankomo and will be spending FCFA 359 billion, a disbursement of the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group that is guaranteed by the country’s SACE guarantee institution. The project execution as stated by Celestin Ndonga, the Strategic Partner of Pizzarotti begins this year.
The Economic Forum that witnessed the participation of several members of government, representatives of businesses and companies and members of the Italian diplomatic mission was occasion not only to assess cooperation between the two countries, but equally to identify investment and other business potentials for both countries to explore and exploit.
The potentials of Cameroon that could be of interest to the Italian economic actors as stated by Louis Paul Motaze, Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development are streamlined in the country’s Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP) that has been on the rail since 2010. Infrastructure development, notably transport, energy and telecommunication; agro-pastoral mechanization and improved business climate are key areas of focus, he said, stating that the goal is above all to achieve a 7.5 per cent growth rate driven by the private sector between 2016 and 2020.
All the members of government present at the forum were ready to discuss various opportunities available for business partnerships. Italy, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mario Giro said, is in a new dispensation with Africa characterised by economic cooperation with the private sector.
In his presentation, he assured that his country is aware of Cameroon’s rich natural resources and its potential to grow, but that Italy is not only ready to concentrate on raw materials but equally on human resources which according to him are not well valorised. As if that were not all, Cameroon occupies a strategic position in Africa reason why Italian businesses have come to stay. He assured that an economic mission will soon be organised between the Italian and Cameroonian private sectors.
Mauro Battistella, Coordinator of Italian business in Cameroon (CAICAM) was even more assuring stating inter alia during the working session moderated by Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Finance that the Italian community is ready and has been eying sectors such as brick manufacturing, rural development, food production, hotel development and marketing of Italian products such as wine. In all, the economic forum opened the floodgate for real business between the two nations.