A senior figure in the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) has called on Egyptian firms to take advantage of the bank’s connections across the continent to improve exports and secure payments in African markets.
Denys Denya, executive vice-president in charge of finance, administration and banking services, made the comments on Wednesday during the opening of the International Ceramics and Sanitary Ware Exhibition in Cairo.
The event, which takes place from 18 to 21 November, was attended by Egypt’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Tarek Qabil
Denya said the bank has the right mix of knowledge and facilities to assist Egyptian companies in trading with their counterparts in 38 African countries, facilitating trade and providing guarantees to secure payments.
“In addition to credit, risk-bearing and advisory services, we also provide market-access services and can, therefore, introduce Egyptian companies to importers across the continent,” he said.
On 19 November, the bank participated in the Africa Forum, a sideline conference held under the theme “Boosting Intra-African Trade – Egyptian Ceramics and Sanitary Ware Exports”.
At the forum, Amr Kamel, Afreximbank’s director of banking operations, said the bank’s current intervention in the Egyptian market included a focus on the expansion of value-added exports, greater access to trade finance, investment support, assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises, and capacity-building.
Kamel, who was speaking on a panel on “Africa Rising”, said the bank was focusing on the five key drivers of trade promotion under its Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme, which sought to foster trade and economic cooperation between Egypt and other African countries.
He said Afreximbank approved and disbursed $1.9bn to Egyptian banks and entities exporting to other African countries since its establishment in 1993.
Ahmed Zayed, economic African affairs advisor and executive director of Influence, an Egyptian government and investment firm, who moderated the session, said the Egyptian ceramic sector exported 80% of its products to Libya, with other Middle Eastern countries as the second main export destination. He urged participants to look toward Africa as a strategic option for the growth of the Egyptian construction industry.
Earlier, Mahmoud Dirir, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Egypt, who chaired the panel, said Egyptian expertise in the construction sector could add value to African markets, given the continent’s rising middle class.
Also on the panel were Medhat Askar, chairman of the Construction Export Council, and Hossam El-Sallab, deputy chairman of Mostafa El-Sallab Group.