The Arab-African Trade Bridges Program provides an update on progress on driving economic integration…


With a mandate to boost regional economic integration between African and Arab regions and enhance SME export development in key sectors, the AATB program has become an essential tool for building stronger partnerships between Arab and African countries. . The program facilitates projects of common interest for the pursuit of economic growth opportunities between businesses in the two regions.

So far this year, the AATB program has seen an acceleration of national activities designed to facilitate trade and investment by supporting key sectors and industries.

  • The Arab Republic of Egypt: AATB’s country program in Egypt promotes the movement of trade and joint investment at regional and global levels between Egypt and the rest of Arab and African countries. The program also supports trade and export in Arab and African economies, through financing and export credit insurance for Egyptian exports to African markets to increase Egyptian foreign trade and investment. in Africa.
  • The Export Incubator Program (EIP): In addition, the AATB program has partnered with the Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink) to organize a dedicated export incubator program for over 60 entrepreneurs and SMEs. The incubator program offered a comprehensive export platform that ranged from incubation services to training and facilitating access to finance and other business links.
  • Tunisian republic : In January 2022, the AATB program and the Republic of Tunisia signed the 2022-2023 country program, aimed at developing a cooperation framework to implement a mutually agreed list of trade and investment interventions. The program builds the capacity of Tunisian companies to increase foreign trade volumes and helps Tunisian institutions import basic and strategic materials such as gas and cereals.
  • Financing Investment and Trade in Africa (FITA 2022): The AATB program sponsored the FITA conference held in Tunisia on May 25-26, 2022. The conference brought together African and local executives, and decision-makers, including African investors, CEOs, heads of institutions pan-African and international financial institutions, international cooperation and trade entities. ministers. FITA has focused on strengthening the business environment and increasing financing techniques to develop intra-African trade and investment.

In partnership with ARSO, the Harmonization Initiative approved 99 standards for adoption and identified 13 new unique standards for the region to harmonize

Since the beginning of the year, AATB’s Pharmaceuticals Harmonization Initiative has continued its remarkable progress in synchronizing African standards for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, enhancing intra-African trade potential. In partnership with the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), the harmonization initiative approved 99 standards for adoption and identified 13 new and unique standards to be harmonized in the region, resulting in the following results:

  • 68 international standards have been approved for adoption and 8 single standards have been published under Medical Devices and Equipment;
  • 31 international standards have been approved for adoption and 5 single standards for pharmaceutical and medicinal products have been developed.

Several stakeholder workshops were organized throughout 2022 in countries such as Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal. These workshop events supported the harmonization of African standards for pharmaceuticals and medical devices to improve trade and investment within Africa’s health industry and stimulate the manufacturing of high quality local products and services. Other stakeholder meetings have taken place at major events such as the ARSO General Assembly, held in Cameroon.

The fourth quarter of 2022 is expected to be an intense period with an acceleration of support activities in countries leading up to the 4e AATB Board of Governors meeting, to be held in Tunisia on December 1, 2022. The Board meeting will provide further guidance on how the program continues to move forward in a world facing significant challenges. Equally important, the Board meeting will show how the Program can play an active role in mitigating the impact of these challenges.

A panel discussion on “Towards Accelerated and Sustainable Trade Flows between Africa and Arab Countries in the AFCFTA Era” is scheduled on the sidelines of the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, November 20 to 25, 2022 in Niamey, Niger.

The objectives of these discussions are, among others, to generate a high-level dialogue and to facilitate important exchanges on potential partnerships and alliances in the pharmaceutical sector, in addition to the importance of standardization in strengthening trade and investment in the field.

The Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) program is leading efforts to organize business matchmaking events between Arab and African businesspeople for strategic sectors in the two regions. These sectors are targeted because they have been identified as those with high potential for increasing trade and investment between the Arab and African regions.

The B2B organization will be an opportunity to highlight the enormous potential of the Arab and African markets in the food sector and to establish business relationships between operators from the two regions.

  • Business matchmaking activities on pharmaceutical products and medical devices: Tunisia on 1 and 2 December 2022.
  • Business Matching activities on agri-food and derivative products: Casablanca on December 20-21, 2022.
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