GERMANY is to hold a private business forum in Frankfurt on March 23, to discuss trade and investment in Africa. The upcoming forum is the latest effort by Germany to strengthen its business ties with the continent.
Confirmed speakers at the forum include Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons; Carole Kariuki, Kenya Private Sector Alliance’s chief executive officer, CEO, and Okechukwu E. Enelamah, Nigerian minister of industry, trade and investment, and Charles Huber, who will give the keynote address.
The forum is coming at a time some economists have emphasised the need for a better trade agreement between Germany and Africa. This is because Germany, with its reported $60 billion investments in the continent, is still far behind other leading countries that have trade agreements with Africa. The event is important to remedy this by providing opportunity for German Companies and business men to dialogue with their African counterparts to fashion a way to expand their investments and trade in Africa.
Africa is seen as the world’s fastest growing continent and it’s predicted that it will continue to see significant growth up until 2040, according to African Business Central.
“There is a consensus that Africa remains ripe for German Mittelstand companies which are already showing an interest in places where their skills and technology can bring value,” said Charles Huber, a member of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development for the Republic of Germany. “Germany’s need to expand to new markets coincides with increasingly healthy economic indicators in many African countries, including a growing middle class, more political stability and an appetite to develop manufacturing domestically. What Africa appreciates is in particular German work ethic, precision and reliability.”
Germany’s interest in African upped last October when its chancellor Angela Merkel made a three-day visit to Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger, and asserted that Africa will be a major focal point of its G20 presidency, which began in December 2016.
Supporting, Enelamah said, “There is already a strong foundation of trade relations between Nigeria and Germany, and an even stronger rationale to expand upon them.” He added, “Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, one of its most stable democracies, and boasts a business-friendly climate. And whether it is construction, manufacturing or technology, German companies carry a legacy of innovation and know-how that can deliver tremendous value for both sides.”
Investors can effectively turn to many different resources of information when setting up trades with other countries. According to FXCM, Germany is currently Europe’s largest economy, and viewed by many as a key player in both the Eurozone and the Euro, so traders regularly assess business conditions in the country when developing their strategies. Germany’s move to increase its involvement in Africa indicates that investors from all over the world may soon follow suit.
Germany’s economy has been profiting from its meticulous finances, free access to trade with other European countries and significant flexibility in terms of labour.
— Feb 2, 2017 @ 16:10 GMT