By Omar Bah
The National Assembly has recently adopted a report to give diplomatic status and immunities to the African export-import bank (AFREXIMBank).
The recommendations to confer immunity to the African bank were contained in the report of the parliamentary standing committee on
The committee said the diplomatic status and immunities given to the bank will ensure that it has a secure and an enabling environment to operate.
But the committee said the president has the power to waive the immunity when necessary.
“The bank will open up new opportunities for Gambian exporters and importers to have access to trade financing resources in terms of
pre-shipment and post-shipment payments, ease legal processes in accessing such financing opportunities, facilitate and widen the scope of the Gambia foreign trade, help create possibilities of transformative processes in terms of value addition for new Gambian product for trade and jobs and revenue generation,” the committee added.
The parliamentary committee observes that the bank will address the negative factors which militated and are still militating against the development of not only inter-African trade but more – so extra-African trade.
“The international financing institution is expected to address the deterioration of terms of trade, declining export prices, incessant external debt, lack or inadequacy of financing facilities and the ceaseless rising of the increase of trade credit, extend direct credit
to eligible African exporters, in any appropriate form, by means of providing pre-shipment finance, indirect short-term credit, and where
appropriate, medium – term credit, to African exporters and importers of African goods, through the intermediary of banks and other African financial institutions,” the committee added.
The bank also expected to promote and finance intra-African trade, finance non-traditional African goods and services, finance export-generative African imports, preference being given to imports of African origin, including imports of equipment, spare-parts and raw materials, as deemed appropriate by the bank.
“Promote and finance the South- South trade between Africa and other
countries, to act as intermediary between African exporters and African and non-African importers through the issuance of letters of credit, guarantee and other trade documents in support of export-import transactions, promote the development, within Africa, of
a market for bankers’ acceptances and other trade documents and provide insurance and guarantee services covering commercial and
non-commercial risks associated with African exports,” the parliamentary committee observed.