The African Export-Import Bank has agreed to to extend a $500 million credit line to Cairo in order to assist Egpt fund its exports to Africa, Minister of Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour announced on Monday.
Abdel-Nour made the announcement during the African tripartite summit currently taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, which brings together three of Africa’s major regional economic committees (RECs) in order to finalise an agreement on forming the continent’s largest free trade area (FTA).
“There are a number of challenges facing this [African] economic merger, one of them is that Egyptian products don’t prioritise African countries in spite of their emergence as fast-growing markets,” Abdel-Nour told state news agency MENA on the margins of the summit.
The tripartite grouping, which accounts for 51 percent of Africa’s $2.3 trillion GDP, plans to sign a deal on Wednesday to immediately create free trade zones for goods, with the hope of introducing services and intra-continent investor opportunities at a later stage.
The deal would bring together the 26 countries that are members of the three RECs, COMESA-EAC-SADC, giving Egypt free trade access to seven new African nations.
The tripartite grouping includes African nations such as South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Egypt and Zimbabwe.
source: Ahram online