Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Minister of Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises of Egypt, addresses the forum as Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra listens.
With a focus on bringing additionality and having impact from a developmental perspective, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is successfully supporting African exporters to compete effectively with global players in African markets, Afreximbank President Jean-Louis Ekra has said in Cairo.
Speaking during a business forum organised by the Bank and the Egyptian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises to present the outlines of Afreximbank’s $500 million Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme, Mr. Ekra said that the beneficiaries included an Egyptian exporter of heavy infrastructure equipment who the Bank had helped to export products worth hundreds of millions of dollars to more than five African countries in the past three years.
“Thanks to our support, Egyptian engineering firms have been able to win construction contracts in Nigeria, Kenya and Algeria despite stiff competition from international players,” he went on, adding that it was to Afreximbank’s credit that the financing of the tobacco trade between Egypt and Malawi was concluded effectively even at the height of the political crisis in Egypt in 2011.
Mr. Ekra said that the new programme would support Egypt-Africa trade in a two-way direction, facilitate pre-financing of exports from Egypt to the rest of Africa and provide payment assurance to entities engaged in eligible transactions, including payment and country risk guarantees.
It would also support investments by Egyptian businesses in other African countries and would enable Egyptian export manufacturers to retool their plants in order to further improve efficiencies and competitiveness, continued the President.
In a keynote speech, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises of Egypt, pointed out the strong need for the integration of African markets as a way of strengthening the economies of the continent.
Stating that Egypt recognised the importance of the African market as an export destination for its businesses, the Minister argued that Africa must integrate in order to reach its full potential.
Dr. Benedict Oramah, Executive Vice President in charge of Business Development and Corporate Banking at Afreximbank’s, made a presentation on “Facilitating Egypt-Africa trade in the context of opportunities in Africa”, during which he laid out the details of the Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme.
Participants also heard from Kanayo Awani, Director of the Afreximbank’s Trade Finance and Branches Department, and Kofi Adomakoh, Director of the Project and Export Development Finance Department, on the programmes and facilities available from Afreximbank and how to access them.
In a subsequent round table discussion, the opportunities and challenges faced by Egyptian businesses in exporting to or importing from other African countries were reviewed. A second round table focused on solutions available through Afreximbank for overcoming the challenges to exporting to Africa.
An estimated 200 participants, representing the key sectors of the Egyptian economy and the leading national financial institutions, attended the Forum.
Manal Mounir Hendy
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