President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Oramah, has advised Southern African economies to work together in order to deal with the uncertainties resulting from the current global trade environment.
Oramah, who gave the advice during a panel discussion at the ongoing 2018 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, said the rising sentiment of anti-globalism and the push back on multilateralism by the some global powers had put Africa at the periphery, with only three per cent global trade.
Many South economies were in the same situation, he noted, but stated that, with the largest and youngest population and the fastest growing middle class, the economies of the South had all the ingredients to drive economic growth.
“It was, therefore, necessary for those developing economies to work together so as to negotiate in concert at the global level,” he explained.
Oramah announced that Afreximbank was building partnerships and developing frameworks that will attract South-South investment and trade into Africa, saying that trade with the South has become dominant in Africa.
According to him, Africa-South trade has reached 56 per cent of the continent’s total trade as against the former figure of about 16 per cent in the early 1990s.
Earlier, Vice Minister of Finance of Indonesia, Mardiasmo, said the current isolationist rhetoric was not helpful and had a negative effect on global economic outlook.
He argued that the current economic challenges could be addressing through further collaboration among southern countries through trade agreements.
Also participating in the panel were the Secretary-General, UNCTAD, Dr. Mukhisa kituyi; Deputy Director, AMRO, Yasuto Watanabe; Chairman, Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, Rosan P Roeslan; Managing Director, Indonesia Eximbank, Dwi Wahtudi and Dr. Riza Siregar, who served as the moderator.
The panel discussion was organised by the Indonesia Eximbank.