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Finance & Development
A quarterly magazine of the IMF
December 2006, Volume 43, Number 4

Country Focus


For the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)—Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo—oil is the big story. The region has a common currency—the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro—and a set of institutions to promote regional economic integration.

The CEMAC region has enjoyed strong per capita income growth, buoyed by the recent oil boom......and savings from the oil windfall have led to sharp improvements in macroeconomic balances.However, CEMAC member countries differ significantly in size, income and......their dependence on oil.Overall, the region has maintained its competitiveness, but problems are emerging in some of the biggest oil exporters.CEMAC countries now need to liberalize trade and improve their business climates, which remain among the most distorted in the world.

Sources: IMF, World Economic Outlook database, and staff estimates; and World Bank, Doing Business database.