NEXIM Bank and the gains of the intra-African trade fair
Buyers, sellers and investors have come physically and virtually from all over Africa and beyond to connect and exchange information on trade, investment and the market. The fair emerged as an effective process of building bridges to a successful AfCFTA, less than a year after the start of trade under the deal.
The Second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) generated a record US $ 42.1 billion in trade-related trade and investment agreements, according to the latest tally released by the IATF Advisory Board. The latest figures captured additional data submitted by trade promotion agencies in Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa.
Organized by the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the IATF 2021 saw $ 42.1 billion in trade and investment agreements reached at the event, which took place November 15-21 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
This record value of trade and investment deals is the result of more than 500 trade deals concluded during the rich and varied 7-day program of trade, exhibitions, trade, business to government and from government to government. and investment conference sessions, as well as other verticals, such as the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) program, the IATF Automotive Show, and the African Union Youth Start-Up program.
The IATF 2021 has thus surpassed its pre-defined target of US $ 40 billion in trade and investment agreements, well exceeding the US $ 32 billion in transactions concluded during the first edition in Cairo, Egypt, in 2018. .
The planned number of participants and exhibitors was also exceeded. Against a target of 1,100 exhibitors, IATF 2021 saw 1,161 exhibitors present their products and services. While the organizers were targeting at least 10,000 participants, the event attracted more than 30,000 participants including 11,828 in person.
NEXIM presented its products to the exhibitors with positive responses which could be manifested in the coming months.
Abba Abubakar Bello had pointed out earlier in his remarks that the current structure of trade indicates that Africa’s trade is dominated by agricultural and mineral products, thus explaining the low contribution, given that manufactured goods account for around 70 percent of world trade.
To this end, Bello argued that increasing regional trade is a way to change the narrative, which will not only help improve Africa’s trade statistics, but also create jobs and solve the problem of unemployment, especially among teeming youth.
The big boss of the bank said that contrary to the general belief that the scope of intra-regional trade in Africa is limited, he sees great potential for intra-regional trade in goods and services if the gaps in information is bridged and other barriers to production are addressed.
IATF2021 provides a platform to promote trade under the AfCFTA by bringing together continental and global buyers and sellers, and enabling stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information and solutions trade finance and trade facilitation programs designed to support intra-African trade and the continent’s economic integration.
In addition to establishing business-to-business and business-to-business exchange platforms for business transactions and advisory services, IATF2021 also operated IATF2021 Virtually, an interactive online platform that mimics the physical event. The show focused on Africa’s creative economy as well as the automotive industry with dedicated programs. A conference runs alongside the exhibition and features high-level speakers and panelists addressing topical issues relating to trade, trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, trade standards, industrialization, regional value chains and investment.
NEXIM management / staff interface with exhibitors
It has been a busy week for the trio of Abba Bello, Bala Bello, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and the Honorable Stella Okotete (Business Development) as they visited each booth interfacing with Nigerian exhibitors. They listened to the concerns of young businessmen and women and offered advice on how they could grow their business.
The other team members were; Head, Strategic Planning, Tayo Omidiji, Buhari Yusuf, Head, Small Business Department, Safiya Dalhatu, Rooqayah Sidi, Kelechi Nwagboso among others.
NEXIM agreement at the IATF
The African Export and Import Bank AFREXIMBANK and NEXIM have signed a partnership agreement to implement various transactions worth around $ 500 million.
The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the Trade Fair with Ms. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Intra-African Trade Initiatives, signing on behalf of Afrexim Bank while the Managing Director / Managing Director of NEXIMBank, Mr. Abba Bello signed on behalf of his Bank.
Information gleaned from the document indicates that the agreement covers four main areas, with the overall objective of promoting international trade and boosting trade between Nigeria and other African countries. Key areas include:
The Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA), under which Afreximbank provided $ 25 million as a first step to mitigate the economic and commercial impact of the Covid19 pandemic on Nigerian businesses. NEXIM will use the facility for continued financing of exporters, especially SMEs, many of whom have been negatively affected by disruptions to the global value chain and other fallout from the Covid19 pandemic.
$ 400 million credit facility to support the rehabilitation and modernization of Nigerian ports as well as the development of new inland ports as part of efforts to improve trade and infrastructure.
Loan of $ 50 million for the acquisition of badges for the expansion of the fleet as part of the regional maritime operation (the Sealink project) promoted by NEXIM.
Grant of $ 350,000 provided to support the mapping of the main channels of the Nigeria and Benue rivers in order to facilitate navigation and the success of navigation operations.
AFREXIM President Professor Benedict Oramah previously observed that PATIMFA was launched by Afrexim Bank to help member countries manage financial, economic and health shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that the Bank aims to help preserve and promote the economic stability of member countries during the period of global uncertainty and that the fund will ensure that maturing commercial debt payments are honored and support stabilization. foreign exchange resources in order to preserve the flow of critical imports.
Mr. Abba Bello noted that the $ 25 million provided under PATIMFA will be used to refinance part of Nexim Bank’s existing loan portfolio to provide short-term liquidity for the bank’s new lending activities to companies operating in the country’s non-oil export sector. .
He added that the Bank’s efforts to promote the regional shipping company (the Sealink project) responded to the need to stimulate trade within the regional market and that the scope of the project was then broadened to include the development of inland waterways. to facilitate the export of bulk cargoes and open up opportunities in the solid minerals sector.
Bank Product Export Development Facility (FED)
The Export Development Facility (EDF) was introduced by the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) following the investment by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in a 50 billion naira debenture issued by NEXIM to stimulate and increase deliberate financing, especially for small and medium enterprises. Enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate regional industrialization for value-added exports and expand Nigeria’s export basket and market destinations.
The Facility is used to support export-oriented enterprises in the non-oil export value chain.
The Export Facility for Women and Youth (WAYEF) is designed to support women and youth in the non-oil export value chain.
The intention of WAYEF is to stimulate and increase the deliberate financing of women and youth (aged 18-35) in order to expand Nigeria’s export basket and facilitate regional industrialization for exports to added value.
The objectives of the Facility are: To stimulate and increase the deliberate financing of indigenous women and youth, with a view to widening Nigeria’s export basket and facilitating regional industrialization for value-added exports.
Improve women’s and youth’s access to concessional finance with the aim of expanding and diversifying non-oil export baskets and helping women and youth to increase and expand their operational export capacities.
NEXIM boasts of so many other products readily available to both aspiring and established exporters.
Opened on November 15 in a ceremony attended by seven African Heads of State and Government, IATF 2021 was also marked by several major innovations, such as the first Conference of African Sub-Sovereign Governments held on November 18 , on the sidelines of the show, as well as the very first African Auto Show and Auto Forum.
HE Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the IATF 2021 Advisory Board and former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, praised the outstanding performance while congratulating the organizers and the host country for their tenacity.
He congratulated the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal, Afreximbank, the AU Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, and thanked them for the swift efforts made in record time. to organize this historic event, which resulted in resounding success.
Commenting on the results, Prof Benedict Oramah, Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank, said the success of IATF 2021 is proof that intra-African trade is taking root under the platform of the AFCFTA.