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African Energy Chamber calls on Bank of Central African States to relax forex rules

Christian Fernsby |
The African Energy Chamber has joined oil industry stakeholders in calling on the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) to relax its currency controls rules adopted in June 2019.

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Last year, the BEAC introduced new rules controlling the flows of currency in Central Africa in a bid to promote financial transparency and ensure that oil revenues stay within local economies and local banks.

While the Chamber continues to support sound and transparent revenue management and distribution across the oil and gas industry, these specific rules have created a very unattractive environment for foreign investors seeking to invest in CFA union states.

The new rules notably state that all foreign exchange transfers over $1,680 be vetted for approval by the bank, and that all export proceeds above $8,400 be repatriated in 150 days to a local bank account.

Unfortunately, such controls are causing transaction delays and preventing foreign investors to repatriate proceeds from their investment, which is a key condition of any attractive investment jurisdiction.

With such controls and rules in place, CEMAC will suffer and becomes less attractive to credible investors.