Within the framework efforts by Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foster partnership among governmental bodies, the private sector and regional financial institutions in order to benefit from the opportunities which can be offered by these institutions, so as to maximize the Egyptian economic presence in African markets, Ambassador Omar Abou Eish, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for International and Regional Multilateral Economic Affairs, convened a briefing on February 19, 2020, with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), represented by Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Banking, and the representatives of a number of Egyptian Ministries, heads of export councils, the Federation of Egyptian Industries and Chambers of Commerce and businessmen associations.
In his speech, Ambassador Abou Eish emphasized the importance of strengthening the frameworks of economic and commercial cooperation with African countries, noting that, in conjunction with the economic reforms taking place in Egypt, programmes and initiatives had been launched to promote Egyptian exports. Those programmes and initiatives were based on facilitating procedures, supporting marketing of Egyptian products and increasing participation in international exhibitions and conferences. He pointed to government’s aspiration to build on the successes achieved through the Egyptian chairmanship of the African Union, not only on the political level, but also on the economic level, highlighting then need to through support the private sector, given the central role it plays in achieving development.
On his part, Mr. Kamel, leading the Afreximbank delegation, provided an overview of the Bank’s history, thanking the Egyptian government for the privileges granted it which had enabled it to execute its strategic objectives in terms of promoting intra-African trade. He presented the Bank’s activities, which included financing programmes, credit facilitation and services to Egyptian companies and institutions to enable them to increase their exports to African markets. Those went along with the Bank’s programmes and initiatives supporting the activation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) and addressing the challenges preventing the growth of the intra-regional trade among the African countries.
The attendees participated actively in the meeting, raising a number of inquiries regarding the activities of the African Export-Import Bank, to which Mr. Kamel responded. Additionally, some attendees requested the Bank to consider financing the construction of industrial free zones in Egypt. Furthermore, the attendees expressed their appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the opportunity to communicate with regional financial institutions which support the export of Egyptian products and provide foreign currencies.