Standard Bank is participating in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) this year for the third time, as it proves to be an invaluable platform for exposing African client businesses to opportunities in the world’s largest consumer markets.
The third rendition of CIIE, to be held between November 5 and 10 in Shanghai, is one of the few international conferences to physically take place this year following the outbreak of COVID-19.
“This sends a strong signal that China’s recovery is underway and reaffirms its position of open trade, which benefits the African continent, and is critical at a time when geopolitical uncertainty and pandemic disruption are impacting global trade,” said Philip Myburgh, Head of Africa China Banking at Standard Bank
China is Africa’s largest trading partner, and the facilitation of trade between the two in the post-pandemic world is key to bringing investment into African economies, and to help them recover and grow. Shifts in preference among Chinese consumers too is spurring a new demand for products from Africa.
The Standard Bank exhibition stand in the Food and Agriculture Hall will allow clients from African countries showcase and promote their products to Chinese buyers. This year, the stand is heavily focused on exhibiting agricultural products and commodities such as wines, fruits, nuts, seafood, coffee, tea, frozen avocado, timber and cotton.
Standard Bank clients in the wine industry will benefit from this year’s collaboration with the Wines of South Africa (WSA) China office In China. South African wines are becoming increasingly popular among consumers.
Standard Bank is also working closely with the International Trade Centre (ITC) at the 2020 CIIE. The ITC is linked to the United Nations and focuses on helping clients in markets like Kenya and Mozambique with agri-processing and accessing new markets for export.
The bank’s clients will participate in a face-to-face matchmaking event within the CIIE venue facilitated by Standard Bank’s strategic partner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and will get to interact with potential Chinese buyers with an interest in their products.
A wider customer cohort will attend Standard Bank and ICBC’s virtual matchmaking sessions, allowing for the same interaction with potential Chinese importers but without having to travel to China. This year, Standard Bank clients from across the continent are participating in this customized virtual event, partnering with selected ICBC clients via digital introduction and with the assistance of a translator.
“Our efforts at the CIIE are bolstered by our strategic partnership with the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which is aimed at expanding the import and export value chains between Africa and China. Together with the ICBC, we have been building an effective trade corridor between China and Africa over 10 years,” says Mr. Myburgh
He adds that Standard Bank’s participation in the CIIE over the past three years demonstrates the group’s strong commitment to China as a trade partner. “China remains a crucial trade partner for African economies, and its trade ties with the region have increased significantly in recent years. We want to continue to unlock the growth of this economic corridor and that is why we have participated in the CIIE since its inception.
“As Africa’s largest financial services company, we have a responsibility to play a leading role in facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the wider world, and in particular with China. The CIIE provides an invaluable platform to strengthen ties, deepen connections and form mutually beneficial agreements that encourage trade flow and economic growth.”