Dubai Exports and ITFC host B2B Forum to promote Agri-Food trade between Arab and African countries

Two-day forum attracts 40 African companies and witnesses over 200 B2B meetings

Dubai Exports and ITFC host B2B Forum to promote Agri-Food trade between Arab and African countries

Dubai: Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, organised an ‘Agri-Food Forum’ to promote trade and investment between Arab and African countries. The two-day forum, which was attended by 40 companies from 15 African countries, witnessed over 200 business-to-business (B2B) meetings on building mutual relations and enhancing agri-food exports.

Organised under the umbrella of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB), the forum highlighted the potential that agri-foods have in promoting domestic productivity, in creating jobs in Arab and African countries, and in facilitating mutual trade and investment.

Mohammed Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai Exports, said the forum primarily sought to enhance relations between the private sector in Africa and the UAE so that they are well-positioned to take advantage of existing and emerging opportunities in both regions.

“A key element of the Dubai Exports strategy is to support and create platforms for buyers and suppliers to share information on new and emerging markets. Africa is an outstanding opportunity, as is evident from the high growth and rising demand being witnessed across countries in the continent. Growing consumption, connectivity and vast prospects for exports and investment makes it particularly competitive for Arab companies to build relations with Africa. The Agri-Food Forum had 40 leading agri-food companies from Africa representing the increasingly diverse tastes and preferences in the South, East, West and Central Africa,” Al Kamali said.

Al Kamali added that the companies that represented different African markets in the forum were chosen on the basis of the growth rate and income levels of individuals, products imported from other countries, export advantage of Arab countries, and the scale of potential opportunities and challenges in each market. Agri-food companies from Mauritania, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Mozambique were among the participants in the forum.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC said: “ITFC’s collaboration with Dubai Exports reflects our shared interest in driving economic development across the MENA region and beyond. Through this forum, the AATB has been able to provide a practical springboard for intra-regional trade and in doing so act as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and skilled employment in both regions. With the OIC’s target to achieve 25% of intra-OIC trade share by 2025, our collaboration with Dubai Exports is especially well-timed as we continue to work towards supporting private sector development and improved livelihoods in OIC member countries.”

The ITFC was established to advance trade and contribute to the improvement of socio-economic conditions and sustainable growth in OIC member countries. ITFC has facilitated more than $45 billion of trade financing solutions to OIC member countries since its inception in 2008, in addition to improving access to trade-related capacity building tools, enabling SMEs and growing businesses to compete in the global market.

The forum was dedicated to B2B meetings thus enabling participants to engage face-to-face, sharing information and feedback on the demand and export modalities.  An open discussion on customs facilities, existing trade agreements and the nature of African markets was the highlight of the opening day. Each participant was given a detailed trade report on all countries represented in the forum.


About Dubai Exports
Dubai Exports, an agency of the Department of Economic Development - Government of Dubai, commenced operations in 2007.  The Dubai Exports’ mandate is to facilitate trade from Dubai and establish itself as a world-class export development and promotion body by creating an enabling environment for Dubai’s exporters. Dubai Exports has developed a range of value-added trade support services to UAE-based firms exporting through Dubai, for accelerated and profitable expansion of their businesses in foreign markets.

For further information, please contact:
Faisal Shamsudheen, Government Communication Division, Department of Economic Development, Dubai. Tel: (971 4) 445 5927

About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. Commenced operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$45 billion of trade financing to OIC Member Countries, making the Corporation the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs. With a mission of being a catalyst for trade development among OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

Contact us:
Twitter: @ITFCCORP
Facebook: @ITFCCORP
Linkedin: International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
Tel: +966 12 646 8337
Fax: +966 12 637 1064

© Press Release 2019

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