The Spanish Exporters and Investors Club assures that Africa can be a strategic partner for both Spain and the European Union due to their shared interests, insofar as future world growth will pass through this continent.
At a meeting attended by the Exporters Club, Madrid Investment Attraction (MIA) and Afrexibank, the experts stressed that the economic development of the African continent also represents a double opportunity. On the one hand, for Spanish companies and, on the other, for African countries, insofar as infrastructure projects, so vital in countries with a high deficit in this field, will allow them to develop their economies and place them in an advantageous position with a view to the economic expansion expected in the coming decades.
The president of the Exporters' Club, Antonio Bonet, pointed out that, within the framework of national initiatives such as Foco Africa 2023 and the Horizon Africa Plan, which are part of the Spanish foreign policy action plan for relations with the African continent, and the global strategy with Africa that is being promoted by the European Commission, "companies must be offered information on a continent that is unknown to many and which, due to its size, presents a high level of diversity between countries".
This makes it necessary to strengthen collaboration between companies and public institutions in order to reinforce the internationalisation of Spanish companies in new markets. In this sense, the director of Madrid Investment Attraction (MIA), Daniel Vinuesa, highlighted the efforts of the Madrid City Council to promote the internationalisation of Madrid companies. "MIA supports the internationalisation of Madrid companies through collaborations with entities such as the Exporters and Investors Club, the bilateral Chambers of Commerce and others".
In the case of Africa, Afreximbank, as a multilateral organisation with a presence in almost every country on the continent, offers companies opportunities through trade, project and investment financing, as well as information and consultancy services.
Its objective, as Rene Awambeng, global director of client relations, stated, is the "promotion of ad-intra and extra-African trade through different programmes such as the trade facilitation programme, providing guarantees, short and medium-long term and facilitating loans".
Some of the financial products covered by these programmes are: guarantees for promissory notes and bills of exchange; bonds, guarantees and indemnities (BGI); assumption of country risk coverage; export credit guarantee; project finance guarantee; supply chain finance guarantee; supplier credit guarantee; or buyer credit guarantee. With these lines, it facilitates the import of products and capital goods by African countries, as well as the construction of infrastructures.
Afreximbank works with export credit insurance companies, banks and directly with companies (as long as they have an annual turnover of more than 10 million euros).
In the words of Daniel Vinuesa "multilateral organisations such as Afreximbank offer valuable business opportunities for companies in Madrid and can be an interesting platform for their internationalisation".
The Exporters and Investors Club therefore recommends Spanish companies to invest in new markets. "The current climate of malleability and change that the global economy is experiencing can be an open door for Spanish companies to enter markets that until now were quantitatively very little relevant for our country", said Antonio Bonet.