Home » Business » ZIMBABWEAN FIRMS AWAIT START OF OPERATIONS BY AFRICAN TRADE INSURANCE AGENCY

Zimbabwean companies are keenly awaiting the start of operations here by the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) after Harare last month became a full-fledged member of the regional body nearly six years after applying to join, says Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha.

The ATI is a multilateral body whose mandate is to promote and support international and intra-regional trade and investment on behalf of African members states. It provides insurance, re-insurance, guarantees and other financial instruments for African companies and other investors.

The agency is currently proving cover for more than 12 countries --Benin, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania. Zimbabwe applied to join the organisation in 2010 but only managed to fulfill conditions necessary for admission and become a full member last month.

Bimha said local firms were already eager and enquiring about how to access ATI services. "Zimbabwe has fullfilled the necessary conditions for full admission and signed the Participation Agreement on 16 September, 2016," Bimha said. "What is now left is for ATI to set up office in Zimbabwe that will receive and process applications by local companies and investors for ATI trade and investment services."

After becoming a full member, the country participated at its first ATI annual general meeting last month. Bimha said services offered by the insurance agency will contribute to the country's efforts to cut the cost of doing business through reducing political and credit risk.

ATI officials say the Kenya-headquartered agency will set up offices in the country as soon as possible. Launched in 2001, the ATI has supported more than 17 billion US dollars worth of trade

and investment across Africa.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.

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