By Zainab Iwayemi
Stanbic IBTC Bank, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has restated its commitment to the economic development of Nigeria, through enhancing international trade, at a recent Africa China Agent Proposition (ACAP) webinar tagged, “Advancing Africa-China Trade Opportunities.”
Panellists during the webinar discussed how the pandemic has affected trade and how the recent regulatory pronouncements on trade between Africa and China have been affected.
Demola Sogunle, chief executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, stated that despite prevailing challenges, the organisation remains steady in facilitating trade activities for clients.
“Stanbic IBTC launched ACAP in May 2019 to boost trade transactions between Africa and Asia, especially China, and helped customers consummate the best business deals without having to travel to China. These were made possible through our parent company, Standard Bank Group, in collaboration with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC),” Sogunle said.
He also stressed that Africa-China trade has the potentials to create more jobs and reduce poverty whilst also growing the Nigeria’s gross domestic products (GDP). He therefore urged participants to take advantage of ACAP as it will give the exclusive access to an array of exporters in China through Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co Ltd, also known as Guamao, an accredited agent.
Guamao is a China-based agent that is appointed by ICBC and Standard Bank in order to assist African importers execute trade seamlessly with China. At Present, Guamao has about 35,000 linked suppliers.
According to Ralph Deng, General Manager, Guamao, the firm is an expert in procuring all kinds of products, raw materials, and goods, with no restrictions in terms of size or volume of imports.
He also noted that the firm allows a structured payment which is agreed on before an initial upfront payment is made to free up cash-flows and help customers get more products with a reduced payment to suppliers.
Furthermore, he assured that in case of any default, full responsibility will be taken to rectify such on behalf of the client, adding that assistance can also be given in providing a Chinese government invitation letter and help with logistics arrangements, should the customer intends to travel to China to see suppliers.
Luthando Vuba, head, Africa-China Trade, Standard Bank Group, pointed out easy sourcing of suppliers and goods, seamless negotiations, guaranteed quality and logistics convenience, amongst others as benefits of ACAP
In the same vein, Sunny Gao, head, strategic corporation China, Standard Bank Group, highlighted the availability of Letter of Credit (LCs), Bills or Telegraphic transfers, depending on the importer’s preference as a means of easing payment.
He said: “We issue Renminbi Letter of Credit (RMB LCs) to make payments for goods procured under ACAP which eradicates the need to source foreign currency, thereby resulting in faster transactional turnaround time.”
Demola Sogunle, in concluding, said: “Our goal is to become the ‘go-to’ bank as far as global trade is concerned, with emphasis on Africa-China trade. This proposition is of immense value to our clients and will help us achieve our fundamental purpose, which is to drive Africa’s growth.”