Dr. Ashraf Mahate with other delegates at the Global Trade Development Week (GTDW) conference held in Dubai

Dr. Ashraf Mahate with other delegates

Speaking at the Africa segment of the Country Risk Assessment Conference held in Dubai, Dr. Ashraf Mahate, Head of Market Intelligence at Dubai Exports, said that the African continent provides immense opportunities for companies to expand their businesses in a market that is rapidly growing and becoming more urbanised. Dr. Ashraf Mahate said that Africa is expected to have more than half a billion middle class people by 2030 and therefore is an important market for Dubai’s re-export sector.

Held as part of the Global Trade Development Week (GTDW), the conference included a distinguished panel of speakers who highlighted the economic outlook for Africa and discussed the other sources of growth to protect economies of the region, the new developing markets and sectors and the anticipated developments to stimulate economic growth.

A recent report published by Dubai Chamber of Commerce observed that the UAE was Africa’s 19th major export destination, accounting for 1.1 per cent of Africa’s total world exports. UAE is Africa’s 18th largest supplier with a share of 1.6 per cent of Africa’s total imports. The formation of Africa’s Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA), with 26 signatory countries, would bring about major economic and structural reforms in most of the African economies.

IMF forecasts Africa’s GDP growth at 3.7% for 2015 and 5% till 2019, with Ethiopia in the lead at 8.5% GDP growth in 2015 and 7.5% till 2019.