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AccueilA la uneEvariste Yameni, Director of the BSTP: "The Subcontracting Exchange is now linked...

Evariste Yameni, Director of the BSTP: « The Subcontracting Exchange is now linked to the Autonomous Port of Kribi (PAK) by a framework agreement »

Four agreements were signed on 26 May 2023 in the conference room of the Emergence building, the headquarters of the PAK in Kribi. The agreements were initialled by Achille Bassilekin III, Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (Minpmeesa), who is also responsible for the BSTP, and Patrice Melom, Managing Director of the Autonomous Port of Kribi (PAK). Entitled "Partnership Framework Agreement" between the two institutions (and more comprehensive), the first agreement sets out the strategic areas and terms of collaboration between the parties as part of the promotion of SMEs and entrepreneurship in the PAK's area of influence. The agreement's strategic areas of collaboration are: 1)- support for local incubation structures; 2)- support for the migration of players from the informal to the formal sector; and 3)- promotion of subcontracting activities in the PAK's area of influence. Evariste Yameni, Executive Director of BSTP, tells us more in this interview with EcoFinances.Net.

(EcoFinances.Net) – The Bourse de Sous-Traitance et de Partenariat du Cameroun (BSTP-CMR) is now linked to the Port Autonome de Kribi (PAK) by a framework agreement, and this comes as a real surprise. How did this come about?

Evariste Yameni: The Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange of Cameroon (BSTP-CMR) has had a de facto partnership with the  Kribi Autonomous Port (PAK)  since 2019. In October 2020, we organised a visit to the port of Kribi for the PAK and more than 200 SMEs. To date, no other visit to this port has attracted so many companies to the PAK for an event. The day after the site visit, a « Suppliers Day » was held in Kribi, attended by 216 companies from all over the country.  Following this event, a number of SMEs and SMIs won public contracts at the PAK. And several other companies have since joined PAK’s portfolio of approved service providers.  These agreements formalise the partnership that already existed between the two organisations. They now set out the terms and conditions of collaboration between the parties and the framework within which they will be implemented. The general framework in question is the promotion of subcontracting activities in PAK’s area of influence.

EFN: We’ve heard not one agreement, but four. What exactly is the situation?

EY: Four agreements were signed on 26 May 2023 in the conference room of the Emergence building, the PAK headquarters in Kribi. They were initialled by the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (Minpmeesa), who is also responsible for BSTP, and the Managing Director of the Autonomous Port of Kribi (PAK). The first is entitled « Partnership Framework Agreement » between the two institutions and is more comprehensive. It sets out the strategic areas and terms of collaboration between the parties as part of the promotion of SMEs and entrepreneurship in the PAK’s area of influence.

This agreement has the following strategic areas of collaboration: 1. support for local incubation structures; 2. support for the migration of players from the informal sector to the formal sector and 3. promotion of subcontracting activities in the PAK’s area of influence. Each of these strategic areas of collaboration was subsequently the subject of a specific agreement. It is therefore the signing of a final specific agreement relating to the promotion of subcontracting activities in the PAK’s area of influence that concerns the BSTP.

Evariste Yameni, Executive Director of the BSTP, talking to the press in Douala on Friday 07 July 2023.

EFN: Let’s take a look at this specific agreement on the promotion of subcontracting activities, which mainly concerns BSTP. What are the main points of this agreement?

EY: The aforementioned agreement sets out the terms of collaboration between the parties as part of the promotion of subcontracting activities in the PAK’s area of influence. The areas of collaboration are the promotion and implementation of conditions and mechanisms facilitating the subcontracting activities of local SMEs, and support with a view to strengthening their capacities; the dissemination of PAK subcontracting opportunities in the network of the Cameroon Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (BSTP-CMR); the facilitation of access to PAK subcontracting opportunities for local SMEs listed in the BSTP-CMR network; the choice of the BSTP-CMR as the mobilisation body in the PAK’s area of influence; the allocation of space in the public port domain for the construction of a logistics zone in accordance with the terms and conditions of the temporary occupation authorisation in force at the PAK; the organisation of « supplier days »; the exchange of data and information on subcontracting activities in the port area; the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Agreement.

It is clear that all aspects relating to multiform networking, activities to promote subcontracting and the development of partnerships have been effectively taken into account within the framework of this partnership for the common interests of principals and contractors.

EFN: How will this agreement benefit BSTP and SMEs?

EY: The answer lies in the strategic axes of the agreement that I listed earlier. The agreement includes a space that will be allocated to us for the construction of a logistics base that can serve as a relay for our various members. Specifically, we are going to build facilities that will serve as offices for local branches of the BSTP, so that we can be responsive to the needs of contractors in the industrial port complex. We will also be welcoming to this dedicated site SMEs/SMIs that will be providing services within the scope of port activities and operations. Many SME/SMIs are based outside Kribi and will be obliged to move teams and equipment to the site to provide services. This will therefore help to reduce transaction costs for SME/SMI members of the BSTP, who will be able to obtain work from the PAK and other contractors based in the port area. So there will inevitably be closer links between the principals and their subcontractors, the contractors. PAK is not just about port activities, it’s also a whole industrial port complex with major partner companies in the value chain that have already started to set up there.

It goes without saying that in view of the provisions of this agreement that I have listed in the strategic axes, the SME/SMI members of the BSTP will benefit from present and future subcontracting opportunities. Most of the subcontractors for this industrial port complex will be selected from our portfolio. The immediate consequence will be growth in the turnover of subcontracting companies, with the main benefit being an increase in our country’s tax base, with the corollary of more jobs in subcontracting activities, thus impacting local content.

Finally, through this agreement, the BSTP will be able to further consolidate its position as the preferred intermediary for putting SMEs in touch with contractors, while guaranteeing a healthy and beneficial partnership framework for all parties.

Evariste Yameni, BSTP’s Executive Director : “Both entities will inexorably benefit from the socio-economic spin-offs of industrial port activities and other related activities ».

EFN: How will the port community as a whole, and even the town of Kribi, benefit?

EY: Both entities will inexorably benefit from the socio-economic spin-offs of industrial port activities and other related activities.  There will be additional revenue for the various town councils and for all the other activities due to the demographic boom that the presence of several companies in the region will bring. There will be jobs for the people of this region. The implementation of this agreement will therefore enable the South region as a whole, and the department of l’Océan in particular, to increase their attractiveness to investors, businesses and the local population.

EFN: What do the two parties intend to do to ensure that this agreement is genuinely beneficial to SMEs, in other words that it doesn’t just remain on paper?

EY: BSTP-CMR and PAK have an interest in ensuring that the content of this agreement is fully translated into action for the benefit of both entities, and more importantly for SMEs and our country’s economy. I must tell you that the operation of the logistics base to which I alluded will contribute to the sustainability of the BSTP and its activities carried out within the framework of business support thanks to the resources generated by the operation of this logistics base. The BSTP remains true to its institutional mission, which is to create a favourable and transparent framework for the development of links between supply from principals and demand from subcontractors.

Monitoring and evaluation procedures have been included in the agreement, and we will do our utmost to ensure that they are implemented. A joint unit responsible for monitoring the implementation and evaluation of the Partnership Agreement and subsequent specific agreements will soon be set up. As for the specific report on the promotion of subcontracting activities that concerns us, a working group is being set up to implement it. BSTP has already appointed its representatives to this body.  The agreement is for a renewable period of three years.

Interview by EcoFinances.Net

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