By Sam Mnthambala, contributor:
Standard Bank recently convened a virtual matchmaking conference for Malawian and other African suppliers who the bank matched with Chinese buyers to increase trade flows between Africa and its largest export partner.
The conference— Supply Demand Virtual Matchmaking Conference— was organised by Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) ahead of the 2nd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (Caete) slated for this monthend in China’s Hunan Province.
ICBC, the world’s largest bank by assets, has a controlling stake of 20 percent in Standard Bank Group and has over the years facilitated the opening up of trade flows between Africa and China.
Standard Bank, on the other hand, operates a trade corridor facility known as Africa China Trade Solutions (ACTS) which is designed to facilitate Sino-Africa trade by doing away with logistical and trade barriers.
During the matchmaking event two Malawian businesses, Nyasa Mining Cooperative and Saeed Investments Limited, were paired with numerous traders from China, kick-starting a process where they will enhance their export capabilities through creation and nurturing of synergies within respective industries.
Of the three, Saeed Investments and Nyasa Mining will send samples to the Expo to further increase network reach and visibility of their products.
The Expo will attract over 500 businesses from across 16 African economies.
Standard Bank Head, Business and Commercial Clients, Graham Chipande, said the matchmaking exercise and sending of samples to Hunan gives Malawian businesses a chance to penetrate the Chinese market and make substantial export gains in the post-Covid era.
“Many local businesses are looking for ways to diversify. Standard Bank is, therefore, connecting clients to right suppliers and buyers to build a comprehensive trade corridor between Malawi and China. In doing so, we are finding new ways of making things possible for our clients,” Chipande said.