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Central Africa

Central Africa

The EU is currently in negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement with Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe.

Cameroon signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU in 2009.  

Trade picture

Central Africa countries:

  • Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo - Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé & Principe
  • Regional integration remains a challenge for the economies in Central Africa. Regional trade lags behind compared to trade with developed countries outside Central Africa.
  • Oil dominates (70%) exports to the EU from the Central African countries. Only the Central African Republic do not export oil to the EU. Other main exports are cocoa, wood copper, bananas, and diamonds.
  • Imports from the EU into the Central African region are dominated by machinery and mechanical appliances, equipment, vehicles, foodstuffs and pharmaceutical products.

EU-ACP Central Africa "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2011-2013, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2011 10.1 6.3 -3.8
2012 11.6 6.5 -5.1
2013 10.4 7.0 -3.5

More statistics on Central Africa

EU and Central Africa

The EU and Cameroon concluded negotiations on an interim Economic Partnership Agreement in 2007. The agreement was approved by the European Parliament in June 2013 and ratified by Cameroon in July 2014. This agreement provides duty-free, quota-free EU access for all goods from Cameroon and a gradual removal of duties and quotas over 15 years on 80% of EU exports to Cameroon. Besides trade in goods, the interim agreement also covers aid for trade, institutional issues, and dispute settlement. It also includes "rendezvous" clauses providing for further negotiations on other trade-related issues such as competition policy, intellectual property, etc.

Gabon and Congo (Brazzaville) have not yet signed an Economic Partnership Agreement. Congo trades with the EU under the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences. As upper-middle income country (according to the World Bank classification), Gabon is no longer eligible for the new Generalised Scheme of Preferences scheme as of 1 January 2014.

As Least-Developed Countries, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, São Tomé and Equatorial Guinea all benefit from duty-free, quota-free EU access under the EU's "Everything but Arms" scheme.

The ongoing negotiations for a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Central Africa include areas such as rules and commitments on goods and rules of origin, services and investment, sustainable development, competition and trade facilitation. Cooperation on technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards is also foreseen.

Economic Partnership Agreements set out to help African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to improve their trade

More information on the interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Cameroon fr

Trading with Central Africa