How integration into the Central African Economic and Monetary Community affects Cameroon's economy: general equilibrium estimates
The authors quantify the impact on Cameroon of three aspects of its new regional trade agreement with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (the CEMAC agreement): i) improved access to markets in CEMAC; ii) preferential tariff reduction; and iii) reduction of its external tariff through implementation of the common external tariff of CEMAC. They estimate that Cameroon will gain from the agreement but show how Cameroon's regional market power greatly affects the magnitude of its gains. They assume that Cameroon has regional market power in both imports and exports despite being small in world markets. They find that better access to partner markets and reduction of the external tariff explain virtually all of Cameroon's welfare gain. In their preferred scenario (Cameroon having regional market power), reduction of the external tariff explains three-quarters of the welfare gain. If Cameroon further reduces tariffs to its regional partners, the effect on its economy is a loss of real income but the impact is negligible. Should Cameroon's partners fail to provide tariff-free access to their markets, the authors estimate that, given Cameroon's regional market power, Cameroon would gain even more from free trade than it would from implementing the CEMAC arrangements.
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