Organizers of this year's Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021,have disclosed that about 10,000 people, including investors across the world, from 55 countries are expected to patronize the fair slated for Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The event, which is scheduled for November 15 to 21, 2021 is under the theme, "Building bridges for a successful African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)."
Over $40 billion worth of trade and investment deals are also expected to be created during the fair, with about 1,100 exhibitors and 5,000 conference participants in attendance to promote trade and investments in Africa.
This, was disclosed by the Executive Vice President (VP) in charge of Finance and Administration and Banking Services of Afreximbank, Mr Denys Denya at the launch of the IATF2021 Ghana Road show held in Accra last Thursday, August 19, 2021 at the Kempinski Hotel.
The IATF 2021, will provide a unique and valuable platform for businesses to access an integrated African Market of over 1.2billion people with a Gross Domestic Product of over 2.5trillion dollars created under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Mr Denya said, the trade fair would make AfCFTA a possibility. Thursday's first Country Roadshow,was a prelude to IATF 2021.
It was to raise the awareness for the private sector about the substantial benefits of attending the second edition of IATF 2021, which will take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from November 15 to 21 this year.
Mr Denya said, Afreximbank had initiated a number of products like the Pan-African Payments and Settlement Systems, AfCFTA adjustment facility, African collaborative scheme and the trade fair.
He said over the years, the Bank had disbursed 1.7billion dollars to support Ghanaian companies.
The Executive Vice-President said Ghana had vital industries to promote Intra-regional trade and the participation and contributions of the private sector was key in the implementation of AfCFTA.
Mr Denya said the trade fair would play a significant role in making Intra-African trade a reality by providing a sustainable platform for buyers and sellers, investors and governments to connect and exchange trade investment information.
He called on the business community to participate in the event and take advantage of showcasing their product and investment opportunities.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa in a speech read on behalf of his boss, Mr Alan Kyerematen said, government was committed to the implementation of the AfCFTA, saying that was the reason why the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, fought for the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra.
"The Ministry of Trade and Industry will continue to partner and support the private sector as well as help build their capacity to take advantage of the AfCFTA," he said.
According to him, the African Free Trade Area agreement when fully implemented, would close the trading gap on the continent.
The Deputy Minister, said the fair would give government the opportunity to improve in the participation of Intra-African Trade.
He appealed to the organisers to develop mechanism to track the impact of the trade fair and adopt electronic to hold a virtual version during the hosting of the programme.
On her part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said her outfit was proud to be associated with the programme.
General Manager for Corporate Banking of Ghana Exim Bank, William Obeng on his part indicated that the short to medium term objective of the bank was to support the 1D1F initiative of the government and also help build the capacities of industries so they could tap the benefits AfCFTA presented.
He said Ghana Exim Bank had supported about 120 companies in the areas of pharmaceutical, cocoa processing, creative arts and oil palm.
Mr Obeng entreated the private sector in Ghana to take advantage of the programme to strike new business deals and seek new partnership.
IATF2021 will provide a platform to promote trade under the AfCFTA and will bring together continental and global buyers and sellers, and will enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and the economic integration of the continent.
The ceremony, was also graced by the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms Grace Jeanet Mason who gave the closing remarks.
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