CAIRO – 22 July 2018: Egypt targets to sign investment contracts worth $25 billion during the events of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2018), Chairman of Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink) Khaled el Mikati said.
Mikati clarified that Egypt’s ministers, as well as businessmen and representatives of 50 African countries will attend the IATF2018 during the period between December 11 and 17, 2018 in Egypt.
He expected that the fair will have 1,000 exhibitors, aiming at attracting around 70,000 visitors, according to national newspaper Al-Doustor.
Egypt will host the IATF2018 in December, in cooperation with the African Union and the Export Development Authority represented by the Egyptian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The fair is divided into five main sectors to serve the marketing goals of the exhibition, and ease the interaction between the participants; which are the hosting countries and the African Export–Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK).
“The volume of intra-trade between African countries declined to $38 billion in 2017, down from $63.4 billion in 2016,” Chairman of Expolink stated.
He noted that the percentage of the intra-trade between African countries does not exceed 15 percent, compared to 59 percent in Europe, 51 percent in Asia, and 35 percent in North America.
Mikati attributed the decrease of the intra-trade between African countries to the lack of available mechanisms to reach accurate information about markets and the volume of trade inside the continent.
In March, Mikati said that Egypt’s exports to African countries do not exceed $4 billion annually.
He further remarked that 14 trade missions to African and Arab countries are scheduled to be organized in six different economic sectors to expand Egyptian existence in other economic markets.
Currently, there are Egyptian companies that invest in Zambia, Angola and other African countries, he added.
Egypt is involved in the African Continental Free Trade Area, which is signed by 43 countries; thus considered the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization was established.
The agreement aims to ease the trade exchange between countries that have signed it, according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.