Standard Bank can now receive, process and approvea business loan in the time it takes to listen to the average song. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN - Standard Bank in partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), will host over 90 clients from six African countries at its networking activities during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held next month in Shanghai.

The event, now in its second year, will run from November 5 to 10.

It 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, according to the organisers. 

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Three thousand enterprises representing 150 countries are expected to participate in the expo, with more than 1 million visitors expected.

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. 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,” said Leon Barnard, chief executive, Standard Bank’s Personal & 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.

“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,” Barnard said.

“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”.

African News Agency (ANA)