The African-Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) will operate a deal processing centre during the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2018) to handle the processing of the more than $25 billion in trade finance which is being made available for deals concluded at the trade fair, the Bank has announced. The trade fair, which is being organised by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union Commission and hosted by Egypt, is scheduled to take place at the Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, from 11 to 17 December 2018.
Information released by Afreximbank stated that the deal processing centre will review all deals presented to the Bank during the trade fair with a view to providing the necessary financing. “We are committed to reviewing every deal brought forward at the Afreximbank deal processing centre during the inaugural IATF,” said Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank. According to the President, specialists from Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative will be on the floor at the deal processing centre, to be located in Exhibition Hall Three, to process and facilitate such transactions. Noting that the IATF was being convened to provide trade and market information, connect buyers and sellers from across the continent and facilitate trade deals, he stressed the need for Africa to speed up its industrialisation, increase intra-African trade and reduce dependence on export of raw materials.
“We need to create more value-added and diversified exports”, he added. More than 1,080 exhibitors from 41 countries have registered to participate in the trade fair. The sectors and industries represented include agriculture, automotive, information and communication technology, construction, logistics, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, clothing and textiles, energy and power and entertainment. The inaugural IATF is expected to attract more than 70,000 visitors, including buyers and investors. The trade fair will provide exhibitors with a platform to showcase their goods and services and will offer opportunities for business-to-business exchanges. Running alongside the trade fair will be the IATF 2018 Conference, which will address issues relating to trade facilitation, infrastructure and payments. The conference will identify key trade facilitation challenges, including standards, customs and transport-related non-tariff barriers, that are affecting intra-African trade and will explore practical ways of collaboration to address them. The conference will also showcase intra-African trade value-chains and opportunities for developing and deepening them.
As part of the trade fair implementation, Afreximbank has launched a Virtual Trade Fair (VTF) to provide continuity after the biennial IATF. Businesses that register on the VTF can exhibit their goods and services to a global audience of buyers and market players and to IATF participants. The VTF allows traders to conduct business-to-business deals, exchange market information and explore business relationships in African and global value chains during and after the IATF without necessarily being at the trade fair. The Africa Trade Policy Centre; Afrochampions Initiative; International Trade Centre; and Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry are partnering in the trade fair.