ZimTrade applauds Stanbic for its pivotal role in Zim-China trade corridor
Zimbabwe’s Trade Development and Promotion Organisation, ZimTrade has commended Stanbic Zimbabwe for their role in supporting trade relations between Zimbabwe and China.
ZimTrade Chief Executive Officer, Mr Allan Majuru, said Stanbic played a pivotal role in the success of the recently held three-day Zimbabwe – China Business Forum in Beijing.
Mr Majuru said the bank’s broad network in China which is anchored by its partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) through its parent company Standard Bank Group, was instrumental to the success of the Forum, particularly in creating linkages between participating Zimbabwean companies and potential partners in China.
ICBC is the largest bank in the world by assets and is also a shareholder of Stanbic Bank’s parent company, Standard Bank Group.
ZimTrade engaged Stanbic in the initial stage of planning for the Zimbabwe-China Business Forum to assist with mobilising Chinese businesspeople to take part in the forum.
“Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe engaged executives from Standard Bank Group based in China, its parent company, to invite delegates with potential to do business with Zimbabwe,” said Mr Majuru
As a result of Stanbic’s intervention, the forum was attended by Chinese companies which produce goods and services that are of particular interest to Zimbabwe.
Mr Mujuru said some of the Chinese businesses that participated in the forum included suppliers of industrial machinery, technology, mining and chemicals as well as buyers and distributors of products such as citrus fruits, nuts, avocadoes, chilies, leather and leather products, furniture and arts and crafts, among other products.
He said a total of twenty-five companies and government departments from Zimbabwe participated in the forum and had Business to Business meetings with two hundred and fifty Chinese businesses in various sectors of the economy.
“Most of the Zimbabwean participants are now at various stages of concluding business transactions with the Chinese companies,” he said.
Stanbic provided a resource person to assist in the coordination of the forum and the Standard Bank Advisory China Chief Executive (CE), Mr Andre du Plessis, participated as a panelist in the session on trade and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.
Mr Du Plessis, in his presentation, highlighted trade and investment opportunities between Zimbabwe and China and outlined how Stanbic, the leading financial services institution, is facilitating business transactions between the two countries.
The Business Forum Programme kicked off with a half-day Zimbabwe Business Seminar which was followed by Business to Business (B2B) Meetings in the afternoon of the first day. The following two days were reserved for factory visits and further B2B meetings.
Stanbic also assisted with matchmaking Zimbabwe and Chinese businesses and setting up appointments and coordinating movements of Zimbabwe companies as they conducted company visits in China.
In his remarks at the Zimbabwe Business Seminar on the forum’s first day, Mr Majuru thanked Stanbic for its role in making the event a success. He acknowledged the invaluable technical assistance offered by the bank in planning for the event. According to the ZimTrade CEO, the assistance offered by the bank is usually provided by consultants who charge whereas Stanbic provided the service for no cost which was commendable.
The Head of Trade and Africa Banking at Stanbic, Mr Tapuwa Nyika, said the institution’s broad network in China was further strengthened through the Africa China Trade Solution (ACTS) established in 2021.
ACTS was launched to build a trusted trading bridge and help individuals and businesses from Zimbabwe to steer through the diversity of suppliers in China.
“Our network established through ACTS and partnership with ICBC helped us seamlessly coordinate the Business Forum in liaison with ZimTrade.”
“China is a country with a population of 1.4 billion Chinese, and it presents immense opportunities for Zimbabwean businesses that we can unlock due to the skilled personnel we have in China and Zimbabwe,” said Mr Nyika.
ACTS gives Stanbic’s clients access to tailor-made solutions which meet their requirements and production flow, and they are linked directly with original genuine equipment manufacturers in China.
The facility is being undertaken in partnership with Chinese supply chain company, Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co. Ltd which has over 10 000 validated Chinese suppliers, a position which allows Zimbabwean importers access to a one-stop foreign trade supply chain and cross-border e-commerce supply chain service.
Mr Nyika said the launch of the ACTS facility for its clients has lessened the burden attached to doing business in China given its vast range of suppliers and other barriers such as language and accessing authentic suppliers.
China is fast becoming the largest economic player in the world and is the biggest contributor of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Zimbabwe in addition to being the third largest importer.