A strategic demonstration to strengthen the Africa-China trade corridor
Standard Bank will host over 90 clients from six African countries at its networking activities, in partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), at the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) from November 5 to 10, 2019 in Shanghai.
The CIIE, now in its second year, is the world’s most dominant import trade show and provides opportunities for global exporters to expand their business to China and develop beneficial trade relations with Chinese importers. Three thousand enterprises representing 150 countries are confirmed to participate in the expo, and more than 1 million visitors are expected to visit over its duration.
As the global market becomes increasingly complex with trade protectionism threatening the free trade system, China is seeking to widen market access to the rest of the world to realise the potential of its economy and support the multilateral trade system.
In recognition of China’s intent to open its economy to imports of goods and services from other countries, Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender and operator of the Africa-China trade corridor, is exposing export-ready clients to trade opportunities at the CIIE this year.
This is the second time in which Standard Bank has hosted a large delegation at the CIIE, and the 2019 delegation includes clients from South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Angola and Ghana spanning a range of sectors including retail, pharmaceuticals, logistics and, most predominantly, agriculture.
“The significant weighting of African clients within the food and agriculture sector is a good match for Chinese importers, who are looking to satisfy demand for quality African products such as wines, fresh produce, nuts, maize, seeds and oils,” says Leon Barnard, Chief Executive, Personal and Business Banking, Africa Regions.
Standard Bank, together with the ICBC, will host bespoke match-making sessions that run concurrently to the CIIE, where the invited African clients will be “matched” for discussion on opportunities with over 500 Chinese clients of the ICBC who are interested in importing African products.
To further support its intent to expand Africa China trade, Standard Bank has two large stands at CIIE for the duration of the expo. The first is situated in the Trade in Service Exhibition Hall (stand 1.1B4-03), while the other features prominently in the Food and Agriculture Exhibition Hall
“Our clients will get the opportunity to introduce their products to a multitude of Chinese buyers, importers and investors who plan to attend the CIIE. It is a practical and tangible step in rapidly growing trade and investment relationships between Africa regions and China,” says Mr. Barnard.
China has ramped up efforts to support trade with Africa over the past two decades to become the continent’s largest trading partner. This is a result of its embrace of Africa as framed by the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), which has ushered in exponential growth in China-Africa commercial ties.
These efforts are bolstered by the cooperation between Standard Bank and the ICBC, who together understand the vast potential of China-Africa trade better than any organization owing to their strategic partnership aimed at expanding the import and export value chains between Africa and China.
The two partners have been building an effective trade corridor between China and Africa over the 10 years of their institutional relationship, with both banks working closely together to provide product offerings to meet the needs of both Chinese importers and African exporters at both ends of the trade corridor.
Mr. Barnard added: “When we say Africa is our home and that we drive her growth, it is our responsibility to extend ourselves beyond just banking. We must add value by providing our clients with the exposure, information and expertise to foster the relationships and opportunities that drive their growth.”
Most importantly, however, exposing Standard Bank’s African clients to 150 000 Chinese importers at the wider expo presents African businesses, their trade associations and governments, “the biggest opportunity yet to grow the scale, reach, sophistication and inward integration of African businesses and economies through export-led growth,” concluded Mr. Barnard.