Africa – the new frontier for international trade

These are uncertain times for businesses, both in Africa and outside of Africa, looking to establish or grow their international trade.

With global trade treaties being torn up, a growing threat of tariff wars with the US and the uncertainty of Brexit, business leaders are looking to developing markets to expend their businesses.

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One region which is often overlooked for business potential is Africa but for international businesses, the continent’s growth rates, urbanizing population, and a banking-related growing consumer market represent a myriad of opportunities – given the right support.

Home to nine of the fastest-growing economies on earth, Africa’s mineral and agricultural resources have fuelled global growth and as its economies grow, so too does demand for goods and services, transforming the continent into a new frontier for European and Middle Eastern exporters.

With a market of 1.3 billion people and a rapidly expanding middle class, McKinsey research predicts consumers in Africa will buy more goods and services than Russia by 2020 – and only slightly less than India.

At the same time, many international banks have withdrawn from Africa meaning corporates need solid financial support in order to enter this promising market.

But what are the opportunities and challenges of doing business with Africa?

How does the current global business uncertainty make trading with Africa more appealing?

And how vital is it to find banking partners who can combine access to export finance with access to the local knowledge needed to enter new markets?

Join our panel of experts for a live interactive streamed panel debate discussing the benefits and challenges of trading into and out of Africa. Hosted by respected international Business presenter Michael Wilson, the panel will be taking your questions on Africa’s growth potential, identifying opportunities for businesses as well as offering advice on overcoming the unique challenges that business in the region presents.

EXPERT PANEL GUESTS

Patrick Gutmann, Managing Director, Corporate & Institutional Banking, BACB

Patrick has extensive international banking experience, having lived and worked in Europe, the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East for a number of different global and regional financial services companies. He has significant experience in African markets and has particular expertise in managing banking-related businesses.

Peter Millett, former British ambassador to Libya

Peter is a retired British diplomat who served as British Ambassador to Libya from 2015 to 2018.  During that time he played a role in supporting the UN’s efforts to negotiate and then implement the Libya Political Agreement.  He met and built relationships with all the key political, security and economic players in Libya and in the international community.  He also managed the return of the British Embassy from Tunis to Tripoli.  Before Libya, he was British Ambassador to Jordan from 2011 to 2015.

James Cantamantu-Koomson, Managing Director of Client Coverage, BACB

James is a truly pan-African banker. He is responsible for providing overall direction to BACB’s business origination and client relationship management function. Before joining BACB, James was based in Ghana as Group Head for Regional Corporates for Ecobank, having worked and lived in a number of African markets, as well as in London.

Source: Global Banking & Finance Review

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