The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the SADC Business Council (SADC BC) have inaugurated the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace aimed at promoting regional trade.
This is contained in a statement issued by Afreximbank’s Media Contact, Amadou Sall in Abuja on Wednesday.
Sall said the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace was inaugurated during the 6th annual SADC Industrialisation Week (SIW) held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
He said the SIW is an annual public-private engagement platform aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-African trade and investment.
Sall said the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace was also aimed at unlocking investment opportunities, deepening economic cooperation, and driving sustainable business growth between the SADC region and the rest of Africa.
“The SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace will provide the private sector in the SADC region with a platform to foster higher levels of engagement in trade and investment-related matters with the rest of Africa.
“Afreximbank will provide access to trade and market information through its trade and investment programmes, which include roadshows and investment conferences, and the biennial Intra-African Trade Fair.
“As well as digital platforms such as the Trade Information Portal, Trade Regulatory Information Portal and the African Trade Exchange among others.
Sall said this was in a bid to enable the private sector in SADC to connect with the rest of Africa.
He said Afreximbank would deploy a range of its financing instruments and trade facilitation initiatives to advance intra-African trade and investment under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The statement quoted Mrs Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice-President, Intra-African Trade Bank, as saying “We are delighted at the launch of the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace.
“It will play a pivotal role in promoting the SADC industrialisation agenda and facilitating business-to-business exchanges aimed at increasing the volume of trade and investment between SADC and the rest of Africa under the AfCFTA.
Awani said Afreximbank remained committed to supporting the trade and investment agreements and deals generated from the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace.
The statement also quoted Mr Peter Varndell, Executive Secretary, SADC Business Council, as saying “greater regional integration of the private sector is paramount to boosting intra-African trade, strengthen the complementarities of production and exports and create employment.
”I encourage the private sector to explore this marketplace fully.
”To actively engage in productive dialogue to share their experiences to collaborate and develop innovative ways to advance SADC’s economic relationship with Africa for the benefit of all our citizens.”
Vandell said as a prime public sector partner in forging SADC’s development and integration, SADC BC was committed to promoting sustainable growth of businesses in the region.
Our correspondent reports that SADC BC is a regional apex body for SADC private sector. It represents national and regional apex business associations of the 16 SADC member states.
The main role of the SADC BC is to involve the private sector (businesses and representatives) in SADC decision-making processes to drive the implementation of SADC plans and priority programmes.
It is also to promote knowledge and information sharing between SADC and the private sector, and bring in the private sector expertise, experience, viewpoints and perspectives in SADC policy-making processes.