African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has promised to leverage on the $850 million in financing facilities being made available by two Chinese financial institutions to expand its support to African businesses seeking to diversify and increase their trade activities.
President of the bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, disclosed this in Cairo, when presenting a report on the bank’s participation in the recently concluded Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC 2018), held in Beijing between September 3-4, 2018.
He explained that the bank used the opportunity of that event to sign agreements for a $500-million facility with the China Development Bank and a $350-million facility with bank of China.
According to him, the China Development Bank facility is to enable Afreximbank support trade enabling infrastructure projects across Africa while the $350 million from the Bank of China is targeted at direct bank-to-bank loans, participation in syndicated loans and trade finance, among others.
The Bank of China agreement followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Chinese bank and Afreximbank. Under the terms of the MoU, the two institutions committed to collaborating in the identification of co-financing and co-investing opportunities; cooperating in projects and transactions to enhance trade and investment between China and Africa; and supporting projects under the “Belt and Road” Initiative in order to bring shared development opportunities to China and Africa.
The President said that Afreximbank took advantage of the participation to hold meetings with several high-level personalities, including Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, Faure Gnassingbé of Togo and Denis Sassou Ngueso of the Republic of Congo
The delegation also met with Zhang Qingsong, the new President of China Exim Bank, to discuss areas of collaboration. That meeting made the Afreximbank delegation the first to be formally received by the China Exim Bank President in his new role.
Similar meetings were held with Liqun Jin, Chairman and President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Liu Liange, President of Bank of China.
The Afreximbank delegation also met with Jack Ma, Chairman of the Alibaba Group, to hold discussions on areas of possible collaboration.