African Export-Import Bank and the SADC Business Council (SADC BC) have launched the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace which aims to promote regional trade, unlock investment opportunities, deepen economic cooperation, and drive 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 – roadshows, investment conferences, the biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (the next edition being slated for 21-27 November 2023 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire) – as well as digital platforms such as the Trade Information Portal, Trade Regulatory Information Portal and the African Trade Exchange among others, to enable the private sector in SADC to connect with the rest of Africa.
Further, Afreximbank will 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). Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, said: “We are delighted at the launch of the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace which 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. Afreximbank remains committed to supporting the trade and investment agreements and deals generated from the SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace.’’
As a prime public sector partner in forging SADC’s development and integration, SADC BC is committed to promoting sustainable growth of businesses in the region. Speaking at the launch, Mr. Peter Varndell, Executive Secretary at the SADC Business Council, said: “Greater regional integration of the private sector is paramount to boost 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.” The SADC – Africa Trade and Investment Marketplace was launched during the 6th annual SADC Industrialisation Week (SIW) held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The SIW is an annual public-private engagement platform aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-African trade and investment. As a partner of the SIW, Afreximbank places great importance on regional economic integration and sees genuine promise in the prospects for enhanced trade relationships in Africa.