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Building Africa’s Ability to Export to China: Standard Bank Showcases African Produce at China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE)

Wole Adeniyi
Wole Adeniyi

Standard Bank Group, the parent company of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Africa’s largest bank by assets, in collaboration with its equity partner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has announced its participation in the third biennial China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE). The expo, from 29 June to 02 July 2023 in Changsha, China, aims to bolster Africa’s export capacity to China and foster direct business cooperation at the sub-national level.

This year’s CAETE theme is “Common Development for a Shared Future” and the event is holding at the state-of-the-art Changsha International Convention and Exhibition Centre. This event marks the first time African clients get to experience the impressive trade exhibition space in person.

CAETE, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Government of Hunan Province, was established in 2019 to fulfil the commitments of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in enhancing the trade balance between Africa and China. Through the previous editions of CAETE, 216 projects have been signed, contributing to over US$43 billion in new trade between Africa and China.

Aligning with the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, which was announced by the Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC in Senegal in 2021, CAETE supports the trade promotion goals by facilitating the import of African goods and services into China. President Xi emphasised the creation of “green lanes” for African agricultural exports, streamlining inspection and quarantine procedures, and expanding the number of zero-tariff products from least developed countries with diplomatic relations with China.

Standard Bank and ICBC actively supports FOCAC’s China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 by providing invaluable insights, relationships, and platforms enabling African businesses to trade successfully with China. “Our Africa-China trade and investment ability empower African clients to connect with a network of reliable export partners and reputable Chinese importers,” said Philip Myburgh, Head of Trade and Africa-China for Business and Commercial Banking at Standard Bank Group. He further highlighted the transactional offerings, trade solutions, and working capital finance provided by Standard Bank, complemented by English and Mandarin-speaking staff in China and Africa.

To enhance sales and marketing efforts in China, Standard Bank assists African clients in registering their products on its ICBC-linked e-trade platform, granting them access to a vast customer base in China. Standard Bank and ICBC also assume a pivotal role in identifying and communicating the commercial potential of trade opportunities to the respective governmental authorities in Africa and China. Through their presence in Africa and a strong foothold in China, they leverage client insights and collaborate with producer associations and trade promotion councils. “This valuable insight enables officials on both continents to recognize Africa’s competitive advantage as an alternative source for many products currently imported from Southeast Asia, South America, or Australia,” explained Myburgh.

Myburgh expressed excitement, stating, “As China celebrates its reopening to the world following the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, our African clients are thrilled to participate in this significant trade event.”

Speaking about the expo, Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, stated that CAETE 2023 marks a significant milestone in the economic partnership between China and Africa. The expo offers a unique opportunity to strengthen trade ties, promote investment, and advance African economic development. With the targeted theme of ‘Building Africa’s Ability to Export to China. “We are committed to empowering African businesses and encouraging Chinese investment in Africa, leading to a win-win situation for both sides.”

As a trusted partner for business growth, we are pleased to have facilitated the physical participation of some of our customers at the ongoing expo, providing a global platform for our customers to network and enrich their business visibility. Wole added that the event has consistently been pivotal in promoting China-Africa cooperation, facilitating economic exchanges, and boosting trade volumes over the years.

Furthermore, this client focused drive corroborates with the brand’s commitment to support the growth of businesses in Nigeria and create partnerships across various sectors.

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