The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has met in Cairo with leaders of the Egyptian Banking sector to present a new trade facilitation programme which it has developed to transform Africa’s trade.
The Afreximbabnk Trade Finance Facilitation Programme, comprising Trade Confirmation Programme and a Trade Confirmation Guarantee Programme, is being offered in response to the increasingly stringent compliance and regulatory requirements being imposed by international banks on African banks for trade confirmation lines.
Mr. Obi Emekekwue, Head, Corporate Communications and Marketing, in a statement made available to The Daily Times on Tuesday, said that those requirements have resulted in the international banks reducing or withdrawing trade lines to African banks and in confirming banks having risk capital and capacity constraints to support trade finance transactions.
“The Trade Facilitation Programme is, therefore, structured to enhance the confidence of counterparties in the settlement of international trade transactions for intra- and extra Africa trade and to improve correspondent banking relationships,” he said.
According to statement, participating in the session, which took place on August 27 were executives from 24 banks, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; Ahli United Bank (Egypt); Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait; Alex Bank; Arab Bank; Arab International Bank; Arab Investment Bank; Attijariwafa bank;
Banque du Caire; Banque Misr; Blom Bank; Commercial International Bank; Credit Agricole Egypt; Egyptian Gulf Bank; Emirates NBD; Export Development Bank of Egypt; First Abu Dhabi Bank;
Mashreq; National Bank of Egypt; QNB Al Ahli; Societe Arabe Internationale de Banque; Suez Canal Bank; The United Bank; and Union National Bank. There was also representation from the Korean Exim Bank.
Addressing participants at the session, Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Banking at Afreximbank, said that the programme was introduced in order to save and grow African trade.
“The Trade Facilitation Programme will enhance confidence among African banks and boost Egypt-Africa trade and intra-African trade, thereby decreasing the trade finance gap in the continent due to stringent regulations and high compliance costs,” said Mr. Kamel, who was represented by Ademola Adeyinka, a trade finance consultant at Afreximbank.
The participants welcomed the programme and many expressed interest in participating in it, saying that it had the potential to grow their trading volumes with African counterparts.
The participants were informed that Afreximbank will be undertaking a roadshow to 10 African countries (Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Tanzania, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Burkina Faso) to promote the programme.
The Afreximbank team took the opportunity of the meeting to also showcase some of the Bank’s other initiatives, including the MANSA customer due diligence platform and the Intra-African Trade Fair, which is scheduled to hold in Cairo from December 11 to 17, 2018.