CAPE TOWN – Over the past decade China’s trade with Africa increased from $100 billion (R1.4 trillion) in 2007 to $230bn by the end of 2017.
While much of this trade has been dominated by Chinese exports, the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai marked the practical expression of China’s intention to change the content and balance of its trade with Africa.
As China evolves away from export-led growth towards a mixed consumption-led development model, Africa has been identified as China’s chief source of future beneficiated commodities, industrial and services imports.
To this end both the national and provincial governments of China worked to ensure that many of the 150 000 Chinese importers attending the inaugural CIIE arrived with pre-determined import orders to fill.
As such, the CIIE represented a unique opportunity for Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest bank, of which Stanbic Bank Zambia is a member, which is also celebrating a decade-long institutional relationship with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), “to demonstrate the capability of the Africa-China trade corridor that both banks have been striving to build,” said Leon Barnard chief executive, personal and business banking, Africa Regions, Standard Bank.