South African exporters assured Export Credit Insurance Corporation now has expanded cover

(Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, 1 December 2022) African countries’ borders are becoming more porous, allowing for greater movement of goods and services via the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, but by its nature this comes with a lot of risk. This is where export insurance comes in: to protect an exporter against a foreign buyer’s failure to pay for goods or services for political or commercial reasons. South African companies can count themselves lucky to have export insurance available to them through the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC), which is an official export credit agency, wholly owned by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. The AfCFTA is the perfect platform for cross-border trade and a number of opportunities exist. Substantial reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers that will result from the implementation of AfCFTA will indeed increase intra-Africa trade and promote regional economic development. It is unacceptable that Africa, the second largest continental landmass after Asia, with all the resources, accounts for just 4.4% of world trade.