By Benjamin Umuteme
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has signed a $500 million agreement with the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBE) aimed at supporting exports and investments by Egyptian businesses to other African countries.
The Export Credit Support Scheme (ECSS), was signed by Afreximbank and EBE on the margins of the Africa 2017 Forum taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The agreement is a combination of programmes/products and services offered by Afreximbank through a partnership with EBE to protect against the risk of non-payment for loans or advances granted to exporters to meet short- or medium-term export contracts.
The scheme is expected to also provide support from the Export Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt; offer assistance to Egyptian export promotion councils and business associations to undertake export promotion activities for Egyptian products and commodities in African countries among others.
Dr. Benedict Oramah, signed on behalf of Afreximbank while and Mervat Soltan, signed for EBE,
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Afreximbank President, Dr. Bendict Oramah said that the ECSS will assist Egyptian exporters to develop their industries and boost their exports into other African countries, thereby enabling the exporters to compete on near equal footing with exporters from more developed economies.
Dr. Oramah noted that the ECSS, is part of a strategic initiatives by both banks to boost industrialization and intra-African trade, supported the development objectives of Egypt and deepen Afreximbank’s relationship with Egypt and the Egyptian financial sector, noted the President.
He said that the scheme built on other schemes and special programmes being implemented by Afreximbank in Egypt, including the $500-million Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme, which had been fully utilized, and the Bank’s support to the Egyptian economy during the global economic challenges of 2015 and 2016 when it disbursed more than $7 billion to Egyptian entities.
Chairperson EBE, Ms. Mervat Soltan noted that the agreement with Afreximbank is a strong recognition of the shared value of the two institutions in contributing to the growth of trade and investments among African countries.
She noted that the EBE had a long experience in promoting trade links between Egyptian businesses and their counterparts in other African countries, adding that it would bring that experience to bear in implementing the new scheme.