African Export-Import Bank

09/21/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/21/2020 05:56

Emerging trends arising from Covid-19 yield trade and investment opportunities for agile businesses Less than a year until the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021

Cairo, 21 September 2020: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the African Union, has hosted the first of five webinars to raise awareness of the African continent's premier trade event, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021), which is to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 6 - 12 September 2021, under the theme'Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA.'

The initial webinar focused on trade and investment opportunities. Bassem Loukil, CEO of Loukil Group, identified emerging trends and business opportunities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. These included:

  • Accelerated digital adoption;
  • Substantial growth in ecommerce;
  • Consumer shifts towards engagement with businesses through communication channels such as WhatsApp and Messenger;
  • The necessity for businesses to fully engage with their societal and environmental responsibilities;
  • Reconfiguration of global supply chains towards nearshoring; and
  • Multinationals' business investment primarily focusing upon technological acceleration, the climate emergency and de-globalisation.

Bassem Loukil said 'As scientists, economists, environmentalists and business leaders agree, there will be a before and an after Coronavirus, which has given rise to new practices that were difficult to imagine before. As the spread of the epidemic picks up as the activity of brands and retailers gradually picks up, they will therefore have no choice but to respond to the new needs of consumers.'

Allan Majuru, CEO of ZimTrade, discussed strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to overcome the challenges created by the coronavirus. He focused on the need for them to adapt to the requirements of the new business environment by rethinking and adopting turnaround strategies based on market requirements and evolving realities. 'In some cases, it may mean transforming business activities, from, say, manufacturing to distribution, but there is a clear need for them to develop sustainable solutions with clear market access strategies and to bolster their online presence,' said Mr. Majuru.

The event also highlighted the immense opportunities to be created by the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), together with the importance of IATF2021 for all those involved in African trade and investments.

The Trade and Investment webinar can be viewed at:

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About the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF2021)

Organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by the Government of Rwanda, IATF2021 will provide a platform for entry into a single market of over 1.2 billion people joined together by the African Continental Free Trade Area, serving as a marketplace bringing together continental and global buyers and sellers and showcasing goods and services. It will enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and African economic integration. In addition to establishing a business-to-business and a business-to-government exchange platform for business deals and advisory services, IATF2021 will also operate a Virtual Trade Fair on an interactive online platform accessible to all. It will also focus on Africa's creative economy as well as the automotive industry with dedicated programs. A Conference will run alongside the exhibition and will feature high-profile speakers and panelists addressing topical issues relating to trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, harmonization of trade standards, industrialization, regional value chains and investment.

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About Afreximbank

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organisation, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa's trade, accelerating industrialisation and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2019, the Bank's total assets and guarantees stood at USD$15.5 billion and its shareholders funds amounted to US$2.8 billion. Voted 'African Bank of the Year' in 2019, the Bank disbursed more than US$31billion between 2016 and 2019. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody's (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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