Home Africa Afreximbank signs deal with Development Bank of Belarus to boost Africa-Belarus trade...

Afreximbank signs deal with Development Bank of Belarus to boost Africa-Belarus trade ties

Dr. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank President (right) and Sergei Roumas, Chairman of the Board of the Development Bank of Belarus, signing the MOU in Minsk. Picture: Guardian

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a $150 million framework agreement with the Development Bank of Belarus to promote trade financing between Belarus and Africa.

As part of a plan to address economic problems caused by commodity price instability in Africa, a dialogue between the two banks began in 2016. Back then, the Chairman of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah visited Belarus and the entities agreed on the collaboration.

On Wednesday, the framework agreement was signed as the initial step towards obtaining the total potential of £800 million.

Oramah said if Belarus, with its limited natural resources and population of 10 million, could reach its current level of industrialisation, Africa has the opportunity to collaborate with them for the supply of investment goods.

“The document will be a so-called corridor for Belarusian goods to the African continent,” he said. “In general, we are setting an ambitious task of increasing trade between Belarus and African countries to $3 billion by 2020.

“During last year’s visit to Belarus, Afreximbank and the Development Bank agreed to reserve certain limits of funds. These will be some $400 million from us and the same amount from Belarus. They are needed to boost mutual trade between our countries. This first $150 million will be mainly used to purchase Belarusian equipment for the developing African market.”