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Ghana: Stanbic Bank and ICBC mark 15-year partnership milestone

Stanbic Bank Ghana, under the parent company Standard Bank Group, has extended its strategic partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of the world’s prominent banks, for an additional five years. Together, they remain at the forefront of facilitating trade and investment between Africa and China, offering unmatched expertise and support to individuals and businesses engaged in this market.

During the signing ceremony held at Standard Bank’s Johannesburg headquarters, the executive leadership of both institutions reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening their successful 15-year partnership. They aim to capitalize on this by exploring new opportunities within the expanding China-Africa trade corridor. This renewed agreement celebrates their mutually beneficial and fruitful collaboration, while also focusing on future growth prospects.

The collaboration between Standard Bank and ICBC has established the foremost platform for trade and investment between Africa and China. They successfully facilitated trade flows between these regions, amounting to an impressive value of US$600 million.

Standard Bank Group CEO, Sim Tshabalala contributed that Standard Bank has awaited this initiative for long. “Standard Bank has long understood the primary importance of China to the growth of our continent, and I am privileged and honoured to thank my colleagues at ICBC for their ongoing partnership. We look forward to the next 15 years together as we build on our successes and drive inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa”.

“This relationship between Standard Bank and ICBC is critical to accelerating Africa’s economic development, broadens China’s relationships with Africa, and gives African exporters access to the world’s largest and most dynamic market”.

“By jointly endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative, and leveraging the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), we expect Africa and China to become even more relevant to each other” he added.

ICBC Chairman, Chen Siqing echoed these sentiments, expressing his gratitude to Standard Bank for its partnership, support, and dedication in promoting robust and meaningful trade between Africa and China. He also highlighted the substantial impact this collaboration has had on enhancing the lives of people in Africa.

“China is Africa’s biggest trade partner, and we want to build on our successes while opening the door to renewed growth. This is especially true in the areas of energy transition, which can create sustainable and long-term positive impacts when we jointly support our respective countries and customers’ journeys to net zero emissions” he said.

“The ongoing development of China-Africa economic and trade exchanges, coupled with China’s economic growth and Africa’s abundant resources, increasing industrialisation and growing population creates a promising environment for continued trade and investment”.

“As these trends continue, we look forward to working with our trusted partner – Standard Bank – to unlock these opportunities. We firmly believe our relationship will continue to mature and bear synergies, and remain beneficial to both organisations,” he says.

Acknowledging the substantial growth potential of the continent, both Standard Bank and ICBC have made substantial investments in establishing essential infrastructure and fostering relationships. These efforts are aimed at facilitating easier access for African and Chinese businesses to tap into the abundant opportunities within this strategically important trade corridor.

With the support of ICBC, Standard Bank has played a pivotal role in facilitating the expansion of more than 3,500 Chinese commercial, corporate, and state-owned entities in 15 African markets. A significant portion of these enterprises comprises privately-owned firms, engaged in a wide array of sectors, showcasing the diversity of their investments.

The significant influx of new private Chinese investments has greatly bolstered Africa’s capacity to import and utilize the necessary technology and expertise for its economic development. Simultaneously, it has enhanced the continent’s attractiveness to investments from other global markets.

“As Africa’s biggest trading partner, China will remain deeply embedded in the continent’s economic growth story. Bringing these two regions together – combining our resources, ideas and cultures to create a unique shared capacity – has immense benefits that will drive regional and global development for generations to come” he concluded.

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