Business Breakfast: The Future of Export Credit Facilities on the African Continent

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The NBF’s Africa Infrastructure and Investment Desk (AVID)in partnership with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) hosted a business breakfast at the Country Club Johannesburg on Wednesday, 20 April 2016. This event attracted interested public and private sector stakeholders from the African finance and the export communities. The breakfast session aimed to deliberate and project the future of trade and export credit facilities on the African continent.

Speaking at the business breakfast, Lynette Chen, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation said, “The need for export credit finance is significant. The increased prudential capital and liquidity requirements of Basel III, alongside institutional credit, country and counterparty limitations, make long-term lending, such as project finance, increasingly challenging for commercial lenders. Therefore, the importance of ECAs in mitigating political and credit risks has become increasingly necessary for commercial banks”.

Asked what the future of export credit insurance on the continent was,  André Kruger, Head of the AVID  said, “AVID was established to support economic development and regional integration in Africa by facilitating and arranging finance for companies, government institutions and or their projects. This facilitation role going forward will include an increased use of political and commercial risk insurance that in essence will support the successful financial structuring of projects.  The challenges experienced by the US Export-Import Bank did affect their participation in the African market but this impasse also allowed competitor countries to position their trade and export credit facilities positively.  It is nevertheless important for the African continent that the US resolve its internal issues and that US Exim through US exporters participate actively on the continent."

Well experienced  panel members that participated in the panel discussions included Muzi Kubeka, Director, Norton Rose Fulbright;  Hildabertha Kundu, Deal Originator, DBSA; Philna Potgieter, Head: Commodity, Export and Structured Asset Finance, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking; and Reetaben Ramanlal Ambaram, Head: Surety Global Corporate South Africa, Zurich Insurance.

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