FCSSC and Afreximbank launch financial cooperation to help African trade development

On July 4, 2017, Wu Zhong, Director-General and Zhang Jirong Deputy-Director of the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, met with the president of the Afreximbank in Cairo, Egypt. The Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and the Afreximbank reached a preliminary consensus in the areas of financing platforms, import and export trade, and e-commerce platforms, and signed a memorandum of cooperation as the first step in bridging the strategic partnership between the two sides.

As a holder of a Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the United Nations, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation has been committed to providing a comprehensive platform for capacity cooperation, experience sharing, and financial services to the global South countries. Their work is spread all over the world, especially promoting the industrialization of Africa. It not only provides industrialized strategic consulting services for African governments but also help them to set up industrial parks and attract investment. In 2016, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation collaborated with the Institute of New Structural Economics of Peking University, China Merchants Group and the Made In Africa Initiative (MIAI) to help Djibouti to plan and build a free trade zone based on its comparative advantage. The progress was reported to the President of Djibouti, who highly appreciated the efforts accomplished.

As a multilateral financial institution established to promote the development of trade within and outside Africa, since the establishment in the early 1990s, the Afreximbank has been providing financial support for the stable growth and diversification of African trade. The scope covers agriculture, energy, minerals, transportation, tourism, commodities, telecommunications, financial services, and small-scale manufacturing industries.

In order to jointly support Africa's trade and industrialization and promote China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation and the Afreximbank plan to cooperate in three areas: First, the two sides will work together to play their respective roles in African and Asian capital markets and to establish a public financing platform - Africa Cooperation Fund. The first phase is estimated to be 1 billion US dollars, guiding the capital from the public and private sectors to projects related to the industrialization and industrial park construction in Africa. The second phase will be on building a commodity system. Lastly, the trading platform will help promote the growth of trade between African countries and the global South. It will give the responsibility to Hong Kong's role as an international trade center and create opportunities for Chinese companies and African manufacturers through various forms. Afreximbank and FCSSC will keep looking for opportunities to develop a China-Africa e-commerce platform, help African SMEs to open up markets, and fully participate in the global value chain division of labor in the digital age.

The Finance Center for South-South Cooperation hopes to establish a strategic partnership with the Afreximbank to better enhance the exchanges between China and African governments, financial institutions and business entities in the areas of trade, industrialization, and financing, through resource and technology exchange and experience sharing. It will contribute to South-South cooperation and China-Africa relations under the framework of the “Belt and Road” initiative.