Abidjan, 06 September 2018: - A high-powered panel of speakers and experts will explore ways of increasing the level of trade between Cote d’Ivoire and the rest of Africa during a panel discussion in Abidjan on 6 September, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced.
Organized under the theme “Strategy to Deepen Côte d’Ivoire–Africa Trade”, the panel discussion will be the high point of a stakeholder engagement event being hosted by Afreximbank, in collaboration with the Ivorian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and SME Promotion, in order to promote the Intra-AfricanTrade Fair (IATF) scheduled to take place in Cairo in December.
Jean-Louis Ekra, former President of Afreximbank, and Dr. George Elombi, the Bank’s Executive Vice President for Governance, Legal and Corporate Services, will be joined by Fadiga Kaladji, Managing Director of External Trade; and Méité Vaflahi, Executive Director of Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d'Ivoire (CGECI); for the discussion scheduled to take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Abidjan.
The discussion will cover technology’s impact on trade and will also look at the struggle by African countries to adapt to the power of new technologies.
The stakeholder engagement event will also feature a keynote address by Guy Mbengue, Managing Director of the Export Promotion Agency of Cote d’Ivoire, which will focus on the topic, “How can the African Free Trade Agreement open trade and streamline import and export procedures between Cote d’Ivoire and her neighbors”.
The seven-day IATF is expected to bring together more than 1,000 exhibitors at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in Cairo from 11 to 17 December 2018. It will provide a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information, enabling buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals. It will also provide an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their goods and services and to engage in business-to-business exchanges.
Outlining the motivation for the IATF, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said, “Intra-African trade accounts for only 15 percent of Africa’s total trade. In Europe the figure is 67 percent. We, therefore, need to develop industrialization in Africa, increase intra-African trade, and no longer depend on export of raw materials. We need to create more value-added and diversified exports”.
The IATF, being organized by Afreximbank, in collaboration with the African Union, and hosted by the Government of Egypt, is the first trade fair of its kind in Africa.Other institutions partnering in the fair are Africa Trade Policy Centre, Afrochampions Initiative; International Trade Centre; and Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.