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Arab, African ministers call for enhanced trade

February 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Image of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program launching forum in session in Rabat, Morocco on 22 February 2017 [Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency]

Arab and African trade ministers yesterday called for trade volumes to be increase between them.

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Minister Delegate for Industry, Trade, Investment, and Digital Economy, in charge of Morocco’s Foreign Trade organised a forum of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Programme (AATB) on 22-23 February in Rabat.

The Tunisian Minister of Industry and Trade, Ziad Al-Athari, said trade between Arab and African states is weak and this should not be allowed to continue.

He added that trade volumes between Tunisia and African countries do not exceed four per cent of the country’s total trade volumse.

The Senegalese Minister of Commerce, Alioune Sarr, told reporters that African countries have large investment opportunities in the Arab world, calling on Arab countries to invest in Africa.

Sarr has stressed on the need to strengthen cooperation within a number of sectors, such as agriculture, transport and infrastructure.

Gambia Minister of Trade, Isatou Touray, said the African countries must develop the business climate and improve infrastructure and roads to allow them to bring in foreign investment.

Trade volumes between Arab states and Africa amounted to 2.1 per cent of total trade in 2015.