03 November 2021JOHANNESBURG - Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, will be participating in the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) for the fourth year. In partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Standard Bank will host over 50 clients from seven African countries at its networking activities during the Expo.The event will be held between November 5 and 10 in Shanghai and is one of the few international conferences to physically take place – with supporting virtual components – this year following the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.Philip Myburgh, Head of Trade and Africa-China, Business & Commercial Clients at Standard Bank Group says the CIIE has always been an opportunity to boost the African business trade out of the continent.“Our clients will get the opportunity to introduce their products to a multitude of Chinese buyers, importers and investors who attend the CIIE. It is a practical and tangible step in rapidly growing trade and investment relationships between Africa regions and China,” Myburgh says..Standard Bank is in an advantageous position because of its 20-country footprint on the African continent. This enables the bank to gain a deep understanding of challenges and barriers to trade for businesses that span a multitude of industries. With these insights, the bank delivers solutions and development support to both African exporters and Chinese importers, which has led to it becoming one of the biggest lenders and operators of the Africa China trade corridor. The CIIE represents a unique opportunity for Standard Bank to demonstrate the capability of the Africa-China trade corridor that Standard Bank has been building alongside ICBC.“The 2021 delegation includes clients from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda spanning a range of sectors including agricultural products like wines, nuts, oils, teas, coffees that are in high demand in China.“No other African financial services organisation has tangibly pulled together such a vast array of stakeholders in government and business across Africa and China to support trade across this important value chain,” says Myburgh.In previous years at CIIE, Standard Bank launched its export proposition that eases challenges and supports African exporters in accessing the Chinese market. The solution, as part of its suite of Africa China trade solutions, connects export-ready clients from across the African geographies in which Standard Bank operates with suitable importers in China while also fast-tracking the export process by guiding them through the entire export value chain..The export solution pools together the relevant stakeholders – from both the public and private sectors – who possess the experience, capabilities, and necessary infrastructure to address the needs of African exporters by providing them with market intelligence, access to trade finance, sales channels and more.Myburgh says Standard Bank’s participation in the CIIE over the past 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 to the benefit of our African businesses and that is why we have participated in the CIIE since its inception.”From establishing market access to navigating regulatory requirements, preparing the product for export, and transporting the product itself, Standard Bank aims to support clients across all sectors and across geographies on the African continent to allow for a seamless trade experience between their exported goods and the intended Chinese importers.“When we say Africa is our home and that we drive her growth, it is our responsibility to extend ourselves beyond just banking. We must add value by providing our clients with the exposure, information and expertise to foster the relationships and opportunities that drive their growth.”.Beyond hosting a delegation of exporter clients both at the exhibition, Standard Bank also facilitates virtual matchmaking sessions in the build up to the CIIE and during the expo, allowing African exporter clients to get “face time” with Chinese importer clients of the ICBC.“Through this, Standard Bank hopes to see more products from each African country on China’s list of approved export products. This will contribute towards easing Africa’s trade imbalance and contribute positively to economic growth of those countries. It is Standard Bank’s business imperative to drive growth across the continent and a key growth area is export,” Myburgh concludes.The CIIE is the world’s most dominant import trade show and provides opportunities for global exporters to expand their business to China and develop beneficial trade relations with Chinese importers. Three thousand enterprises representing 150 countries participate in the expo, which sees foot traffic of more than one million visitors over its duration.ENDS.