Ivorian President Allassane Ouattara (right) with Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah during their meeting in Abidjan.
Cote d’Ivoire will work with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to achieve the implementation of the proposal by the Bank to develop new industrial parks in the country, Ivorian President Allassane Ouattara has said.
Speaking on Tuesday when he received Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah, who led an Afreximbank delegation and a team from Export Trading Group Limited (ETG) to the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, Mr. Ouattara said that the government would provide a piece of land to Afreximbank and also grant it fiscal incentives to support the parks.
Relevant ministries would also work with the Bank in order to concretize the opportunities presented, said President Ouattara, who described the proposal as consistent with the government’s strategy for industrializing the country and said that Cote d’Ivoire was a leading trade partner of the other countries in the West Africa region.
He announced that Cote d’Ivoire had set a target to achieve the local processing of all its cashew nut production by 2020, explaining that cashews represented an important sector which the government wanted to use to promote harmonized development within its regions.
Earlier, Dr. Oramah told President Ouattara that Afreximbank’s decision to lead the development of industrial parks and special economic zones in key African trade hubs was a major element of its recently-launched Intra-African Trade Strategy which is aimed at contributing to economic development and structural transformation and at further integrating Africa into the global economy.
Dr. Oramah commended President Ouattara for Cote d’Ivoire’s support to the Bank, especially for participating in its recent capital increase exercise. Such support helped to enable the Bank to effectively pursue its objective of promoting intra and extra-African trade, he said.
Mahesh Patel, Executive Chairman of ETG, said that the company intended to be Afreximbank’s strategic partner and to provide required support to boost the cashew sector in Côte d’Ivoire. It planned to set up a new cashew processing plant in Bondoukou, Cote d’Ivoire, as the starting point of its development plan in the country.
The company, was founded in Kenya in 1967 and headquartered in Dar Es Salaam, was one of the largest agricultural supply chain managers in Africa, importing and exporting soft commodities from 26 African countries and with operations across 40 countries in the world, he said.
Manal Mounir Hendy