Uche Usim, Abuja
Soothing news came the way of the African-Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), the organizers of the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2018) taking place in Cairo in December, as the event has been oversubscribed.
The Bank, as at Tuesday, has recorded 1,054 exhibitor registrations, thus surpassing the 1,000 target, even as it said that the trade fair will also provide access to $25 billion in trade finance for deals concluded at the event.
According to the Spokesman of Afreximbank, Obi Emekekwue, the trade fair, which is being organized in collaboration with the African Union Commission and hosted by Egypt, is scheduled to take place at the Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, from 11 to 17 December 2018.
Emekekwue added that registered exhibitors come from 41 countries and represent diverse sectors and industries, including agriculture, automotive, information and communication technology, construction, logistics, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, clothing and textiles, energy and power and entertainment.
“More than 70,000 visitors are expected at the IATF 2018, which will provide exhibitors a platform to showcase their goods and services to buyers and sellers and offer opportunities for business-to-business exchanges.
He also quoted the President of Afreximbank, Prof Benedict Oramah as saying: “We are encouraged by this resounding response and support received for the inaugural IATF.
“We are expecting international exhibitors and visitors from as far afield as China, Russia and Indonesia”.
“With the overwhelming response to the trade fair, buyers and sellers will be spoil for choice of the goods and services that will be on show over the seven days,” he stated, noting that exhibitors would be bringing the best that their countries had to offer.
Running alongside the trade fair will be the IATF 2018 Conference, which will address issues relating to trade facilitation, infrastructure and payments.
The conference will identify key trade facilitation challenges, including standards, customs and transport-related non-tariff barriers that are affecting Intra-African trade and will explore practical ways of collaboration to address them.
The conference will also showcase intra-African trade value-chains and opportunities for developing and deepening them.
As part of the trade fair implementation, Afreximbank has launched a Virtual Trade Fair (VTF) to provide continuity after the biennial IATF.
Businesses that register on the VTF can exhibit their goods and services to a global audience of buyers and market players and to IATF participants.
The VTF allows traders to conduct business-to-business deals, exchange market information and explore business relationships in African and global value chains during and after the IATF without necessarily being at the trade fair.
The Africa Trade Policy Centre; Afrochampions Initiative; International Trade Centre; and Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry are partnering in the trade fair.