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The Africa Trade Fund (AfTra) will support the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI), in providing and disseminating critical European market information to African exporters. The market information, which is produced and periodically updated by CBI makes it easier for African exporters and Business Support Organizations to identify business opportunities in more than 25 European market sectors.
Business opportunities in Europe
Europe offers many opportunities for SMEs from Africa. On its website, CBI offers market information that helps companies seize these opportunities. The market information covers over 25 sectors, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, coffee, oilseeds, apparel, tourism, home textiles and automotive parts and components.
On a yearly basis, CBI publishes over 250 market studies. The studies highlight which European markets offer most opportunities for exports of specific products. CBI also publishes studies about dealing with buyer requirements and European legislation, about the best channels to get products on the European market and about important trends. Elements such as trade direction, market demand and supply, competition, consumption trends (current and projected), requirements on labelling, packaging and certifications are included on the platform.
Moono Mupotola, Manager of the Bank’s NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade Division, spearheaded the partnership. She noted that “the platform is highly interactive and user-friendly and the information and studies are presented in a concise, light and logical format. In today’s -aced environment where decision-makers must act quickly, it makes all the difference.”
Objective of the partnership
Through the partnership, AfTra will help spread CBI’s market information by giving visitors to its website (www.africatradefund.org) under the Knowledge & Resources section, direct access to CBI’s databases and market studies. Plans are also underway to work with CBI to extend the coverage of the platform and further raise its visibility in Africa.
Janneke Vereijken, Team Coordinator Market Intelligence at CBI, sees cooperating with the Africa Trade Fund as an important step. “Our market studies focus on export opportunities in Europe for many products that are on offer in Africa. Joining forces with the Africa Trade Fund will help us make sure our market studies reach the African companies that can use them to expand their business.”
AfTra is a trade-related technical assistance fund with the specific objective of improving the trade performance of African countries. Its primary focus is on modernizing Africa’s custom systems, developing products and markets and strengthening the capacities of trade support institutions.
CBI, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries, stimulates sustainable economic development in developing countries through the expansion of exports from these countries. The organization offers coaching programmes for exporters, works on improving the export enabling environment, activates importers and informs and influences policy-makers. CBI is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Exporters, business support organizations and others interested in exporting to Europe can access the market information through the website of the Africa Trade Fund or through the CBI website www.cbi.eu.