Coordination for Financing and Guaranteeing Trade

Khartoum, Sudan (—The Arab seventh coordination meeting for consolidation of cooperation in the field of financing and guaranteeing trade has called for reinforcing the trade exchange and for boosting the Arab trade.

The meeting that was hosted by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) also called for strengthening cooperation of all institutions of the group for encouraging the trade exchange between the Arab and African regions, particularly with regards to the joint financing of the Arab exports to the African nations, promotion of the Afro-Arab trade and Arab investment in Africa for the mutual interests of the two regions through rallying the Arab production and services sectors and benefiting from the African markets and potential natural resources.

Present at Khartoum meeting were Bank of Sudan Deputy Governor Badr al-Dinn Mahmoud and three chairpersons, deputy chairpersons and executive managers from the coordination group of OPEC fund for international development, the Arab trade financing programme, the Saudi exports programme (Saudi Development Fund), the Arab institution for guaranteeing investment and exports, the international Islamic institution for trade financing and the Islamic institution for insurance of investment and exports.

BADEA in support of financing and guaranteeing trade:
BADEA contribution to financing development projects in non-Arab African countries and to encouraging the Arab capitals for investment in African projects through provision of the technical assistance needed for development in Africa constituted one of the most important objectives BADEA is seeking to achieve through this seventh meeting for coordination of cooperation in financing and guaranteeing trade.22

Sayyed Abdul Aziz Khalaf, BADEA General Manager, said his Bank sought to achieve its mission of consolidating Afro-Arab relations based on the deep-rooted historic bonds of the two regions.
He said the meeting has come in the wake of a BADEA resolution raising its capital to 1.4 billion dollars for expanding its operations of financing the Arab exports. The meeting coincides with preparations for the third Afro-Arab summit set to be held in Kuwait next November, Khalaf said.

He predicted that the future of the Afro-Arab trade is promising with high opportunities of expansion, considering the common properties of the two regions.

BADEA General Manager said the Bank is concerned with financing the trade, pointing out that this meeting offers a good opportunity for defining a position that serves the joint objective of improving performance of the institutions operating in this field.

Khalaf called for putting in place a working plan for cooperation in the field of joint financing, guaranteeing and promoting Arab exports.

Bank of Sudan Deputy Governor Badr al-Dinn Mahmoud emphasized the importance of convening the meeting in Khartoum, saying that this would contribute to expanding the volume of the trade exchange between the Arab states and to assisting the African countries. The Sudan is in a position to bolster the food security, considering its tremendous potentials and its duty-free zone which can help in coordination and linking the Arab and African countries together, in addition to its membership to such economic organizations as COMESSA which strengthens the trade exchange between the Sudan and Africa.
Views by delegates to the meeting:-

1-The Saudi Exports Programme (SEP):-

Dr. Ahmed Mohamed al-Ghannam, SEP Administrative Director, said the Programme would play a role in unifying efforts and reinforcing the Arab integration in view of its importance towards pushing the trade operations forward. Ever since its establishment in 1999, SEP has been concerned with promotion of exports in the Arab nations, in addition to its formal and informal tasks of promoting the Saudi industrial sector, diversifying the national income resources and strengthening trade ties among Arab countries, Ghannam added.

2-Arab Trade Financing Programme (ATFP):-

ATFP representative Abdul Nassir Abd-Rabu said the outcome of the meeting would contribute to the development of Arab trade and to promotion of the productive and competitive capabilities of the Arab producers and exporters. He said his participation in the meeting was for achieving ATFP objective of contribution to enhancing the exchange of commodities of an Arab origin. This, he said, could be achieved by provision of the needed financing of qualified trade operations against competitive conditions through accredited national agencies.

Abd-Rabu said, as part of its efforts for promotion of the Arab trade, the ATFP offers information on the Arab trade through the Arab trade information network, besides promotion services through meetings of exporters and importers of the Arab commodities.
He said his Programme paid visits to a number of Arab countries which recently experienced political crises that slowed down their economic development.

In view of this situation, some concepts and plans were charted out for provision of all necessary facilities for development of the trade of those countries, he said, adding that the ATFP provides services to member states through 200 economic agencies that include banks and institutions.

3-Coordination Secretariat of the Arab Fund for Socio-economic Development:

Boshlaghem, representative of the Coordination Secretariat, said the meeting would contribute to bringing closer viewpoints of member states and introducing the financing operations for development projects in the Arab countries, in addition to stimulating the Arab cooperation and integration.
He said, despite the challenges confronting them, the Arab states are committed to fulfilling their financial pledges to the Fund for financing the socio-economic development projects in the member states.