Last 24 September 2019, the Port Authority of Kribi opened up to diplomats, heads of mission and representatives of international organisations accredited in Cameroon. An information and promotion day that was very necessary 18 months after the start of operations in the Port of Kribi. The event saw a massive turnout at the Ministry of External Relations (MINREX), venue of the meeting.
With an audience from various parts of the world, Patrice Melom, General Manager of PAK, specified that the event is part of the strategy of “economic diplomacy”, one of MINREX missions which entails ensuring the attractiveness of the legal and tax environment of Cameroon’s economy and improving the business environment in the long term. “it is obvious today that the deep-sea port of Kribi, one of the major projects of the President of the Republic, Paul BIYA, is among the most important infrastructures built in Cameroon this past decade”, said the GM of PAK.
In his opinion, it is clear that the Port of Kribi, a newcomer in the maritime environment, needs to find a place in a very competitive environment. To this end, the port should know what it is doing, present its assets and development prospects.
Through the various presentations made to diplomats, PAK marketed its comparative assets, that is, its attractive geographical location on the Atlantic side of the Gulf of Guinea, its dimensions (16-metre depth), designed to accommodate vessels of 300m and more, the variety of space of more than 1000 ha dedicated to logistics and industrial areas, paperless procedures, etc. In addition, the Port of Kribi complies with optimum international safety and security standards as proven by its ISPS Code certification.
Beyond the encouraging performance on containerized and bulk traffic in the subregion, the Port of Kribi has several assets including an opening to a dynamic hinterland (Chad and CAR), to evacuate goods massively and ensure the fluidity of port passage thanks to streamlined and fully digitised procedures. For instance, here are the promising figures at the end of 18 months of operations: 524 ship calls; 248,250 TEU containers handled; 14,500,000 tonnes of goods handled; around 14 billion in direct revenues collected and more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs created. It is thus right that the deep-sea port of Kribi is considered as a source of profitability for the Cameroon’s economy and deserves special attention.
According to Patrice Melom, the Port of Kribi is already undergoing extension works. In the coming months, an additional 700-metre quay will be built during phase 2, as well as aluminium, oil and gas, mineral and natural liquified gas terminals. PAK’s GM explains “bigger spaces will be provided to investors. Multimodal connectivity will be set: railways and maritime cabotage between Kribi and Douala will complement the existing road network which is also being overhauled.”
Given the clear interest of diplomats, Patrice MELOM clearly indicated that PAK is banking on the support of the various chancelleries and organisations to provide a new impetus to the dynamism of its activities. “Some companies in your countries are already part on our customer portfolio and have a preferential treatment. We would like you to become our ambassadors to investors in your respective countries by giving them a summary of today’s presentations, especially information on the quality of our infrastructures and the trade facilitation mechanism”. Going international is now the new objective.
MINREX is fully committed
Laurent TCHANDEU, Secretary General at MINREX.
“The promotion activity of the Port Authority of Kribi is very commendable. It will enable MINREX to strengthen its economic diplomacy strategy in order to boost growth and by so doing Cameroon’s development. It is worth mentioning that the deep-sea Port of Kribi is the flagship project of the Great Achievements policy of President Paul BIYA. MINREX is fully committed to promoting the assets and opportunities of the Port of Kribi. We will work together to engage economic operators and investors around the world, who must now consider Kribi as a prime destination for their business.”