Harare, 25 October 2023 – Leading financial services institution, Stanbic Bank has launched an exporter’s guide to China which gives a roadmap of how Zimbabwean companies can navigate the Chinese business terrain leveraging on the bank’s strategic partnerships in Africa and China.
The exporters guide was launched during the business conference which was part of the Stanbic China day held last week as Stanbic bank stepped up efforts to facilitate trade between China and Zimbabwe.
The launch was attended by business executives, executives from Stanbic Bank and its parent company, Standard Bank Group, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and ZimTrade leadership among many other key industry and trade stakeholders.
Stanbic Bank Head of Trade and Africa China Banking, Tapuwa Nyika said the book is designed to showcase how Zimbabwean businesses can piggy-back on the financial services institution’s local and global strategic partners for their entry into trading with China.
“Stanbic Bank considers Africa as its “calling card” and to that end, the institution is committed to play a pivotal role in championing Zimbabwe’s growth,” said Nyika.
He said Stanbic Bank through its parent company, Standard Bank Group which in turn, is partly owned by ICBC has cemented itself as a universal bank as evidenced by its presence in 20 country subsidiary banks, and 1113 branches in Africa.
“The Standard Bank group has representation in London, New York, Dubai, Isle of Man, Jersey and Beijing and has 160 years on the continent, and presence in 20 countries and this augurs well for any entity looking to grow beyond its borders and particularly China,” said Nyika.
The exporters’ guide demonstrates how Stanbic is geared to drive Zimbabwe and Africa’s agribusiness and become the leading Agribusiness bank in Zimbabwe and on the continent.
“We aspire to make a real difference in reducing food insecurity, solving for unemployment and helping grow the GDPs in the countries in which we operate. We do this by supporting our Agribusiness clients’ ecosystems, through deep sector expertise and driving sustainable agriculture,” said Tawanda Maposah the Head of Agribusiness.
Maposha outlined six growth drivers in the continent namely: Infrastructure; technology; trade FDI and processing; population growth and climate change.
On infrastructure, Maposah highlighted that an estimated 40% of the food produced in Africa is lost, noting that improved infrastructure can greatly reduce this loss, enhancing productivity.
“There is a need to expand agri-export markets. AfCFTA, cross-border trade and Africa-China trade,” says the book under the trade growth driver.
“Our partnership with the world’s biggest bank, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has resulted in a powerful strategic collaboration that enables us to provide our customers with direct access to one of the world’s strongest economies. Not only has this partnership already grown trade and investment between Africa and China, but we also continue to work together on various initiatives to build and strengthen unique import and export propositions for increased business between Africa and China,” he said. Businesses are encouraged to proactively pursue China which is described as “’the land of opportunity”.
Meanwhile the two-day China Stanbic event was well supported with over 30 companies across the full spectrum of the Zimbabwe’s industry, commerce and agri-business sectors participating.
Standard Bank Head of Business and Commercial Banking Southern and Central Africa Leina Gabaraane said trade was at the core of the financial services institution’s mission.
Gabaraane said China stands as a strategic corridor for Zimbabwe, and by extension, for the entire African continent.
“The economic dynamism, technological prowess and global reach of China presents a wealth of opportunities. Standard Bank recognises this strategic positioning and has been dedicated to tapping into the immense potential this corridor offers,” said Gabaraane.
He said exporting to China should not just be an option but a critical pathway for the growth and prosperity of Zimbabwe. Companies need to take advantage of how vast, diverse and continually evolving the Chinese market is.
Gabaraane said the Group has an unwavering commitment towards pushing for Zimbabwe’s growth through exporting to China as this would empower Zimbabwean companies to reach new heights.
“We take pride in being deliberate in our approach to facilitate imports and exports with China. Through our valued partnerships such as ICBC and the Zhejiang International Supply Chain Company, we have been able to create seamless trade corridors that empower business from both strides to thrive,” said Gabaraane.
Standard Bank believes in partnering for growth and fully understands that Africa is not just a place of business but a home and the institution is resolute in its commitment to drive her growth.
Gabaraane said Standard Bank’s ambition is not only to participate in Africa’s development but to lead the way, set the standard and pioneer innovative solutions that empower businesses and communities across the continent.
“Together, we can unlock the potential of trade between Zimbabwe and China, and together we can shape a future of shared prosperity and sustainable growth,” concluded Gabaraane.