The Executive Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Banking of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Mr. Amr Kamel, has called on the media and financial experts in the continent to promote the importance of the Intra-African trade.
Kamel said that there was need for the media to consistently inform and enlighten the people on the importance of the intra-African trade to enhance acceptability and promote growth of businesses within Africa.
Afreximbank introduced its series of Annual Structured Trade Finance Seminars in 1999 in consistent with the Bank’s goal of strengthening the capacity of its partners and clients in understanding trade and trade-related project financing issues as they affect Africa,
and driven by the widening trade financing gap and the challenge of increasing the continent’s share of global trade, the Executive Vice President said.
Kamel said this on Wednesday while declaring open the the 18th edition of Afreximbank’s Annual Seminar and Workshop on Structured Trade Finance in Casablanca, Morocco.
The EVP added that the fundamentals of Structured Trade Finance is the focus of the 2018 edition of what has become the Bank’s annual flagship course.
According to him, Morocco’s development is testament to the impact of concerted efforts to economic development.
The Executive Vice President noted that during the past seventeen editions, the seminar has contributed to developing skills and building capacity of more than 1,750 professionals across Africa and elsewhere.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, Zaaboul Faouzia, Director of the Department of Treasury and External Finance, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Kingdom of Morocco, said that Morocco’s trade with Africa accelerated from $128 million to around $3.3 billion in 2017, facilitated by transport, communication, and financial links, through among others, Royal Air Maroc, Maroc Telecom, and Attijariwafa Bank.
“Morocco has undergone an incredible transformation after years of serious efforts to modernise and expand its infrastructure, upgrading roads, ports, and airports to support its intentions of becoming a commercial crossroads between Africa and the West.
“Electricity reaches 99% of the population and more than 85% have access to potable water. “Manufacturing has become a mainstay of the economy with Morocco emerging as Africa’s largest automotive producer and a hub for aeronautical manufacturing,” the director stated.
Faouzia said that the example of Morocco offers many lessons for Africa to learn as we pursue economic development across the continent.
Over the years, the Director noted that the seminar has brought together participants drawn from across the globe, including executives of banks, law firms and other financial institutions, senior government officials and financial regulators
as well as corporates actively engaged in the promotion and financing of African trade and trade-related projects, he added.
“Today, Afreximbank is honoured to make its case for the Intra-African Trade Fair in this Kingdom- which is endowed with the unparalleled history of being the birthplace of global trading arrangements.
“Increased intra-regional trade in Europe, North America, Asia, etc led to “internationalisation” of production systems;
“This gave rise to vertical trading chains as well as intra-industry trade spanning a number of countries, each specializing in a particular stage of production; and
“Outcomes of the growth in regional value chains include increased export revenues- particularly from high valued intermediate products, job creation and higher government receipts from expanded economic activity.
“These are some of the key building blocks needed to propel the Africa we want – a prosperous continent based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”, Faouzia added.