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The Economic Implications of COVID-19 in Cameroon and Key Lessons for Policymakers

Some people wear masks as they walk by the entrance to the Yaounde General Hospital in Yaounde on March 6, 2020 as Cameroon has confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 coronavirus. AFP

COVID-19 has infected more than 100,000 people in at least 77 countries, disrupting global manufacturing supply chains and causing a slowdown in key service sectors such as tourism, transport, and recreation. While the virus will cause exports from Cameroon to China and Italy to fall, policymakers must see the negative implications of the virus as a trigger to incentivize higher value-added products such as components for computers and solar panels, consumer products such as cornflakes, packaged salmon, potatoes and cornflower, which are all appropriate for an increasingly climate-centric global consumer.

Falling Manufacturing in China Means Fewer Commodity Imports From Cameroon

As a result of the COVID-19, China’s manufacturing PMI was 35.7 percent, down 14.3 percentage points (ppt) in January. In terms of enterprise-scale, the PMI of large, medium and small enterprises was 36.3, 35.5 and 34.1% respectively, 14.1, 14.6 and 14.5 ppt lower than that of last month (see chart).

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