Stanbic Bank has facilitated US$400 000 worth of imported products for its clients through its African China Import Solution facility.
The leading financial services institution launched the Africa-China Trade Solutions (ACTS) facility for its clients towards the end of 2021 and to date US$400 000 orders have been made while several others are under discussion.
The first batch of orders are expected to be received towards the end of this month. Stanbic Bank head trade and Africa China Banking, Tapuwa Nyika, said the facility has helped importers save between 20 percent to 40 percent when compared to their traditional suppliers both within Zimbabwe and internationally.
“These cost savings have made Stanbic clients more competitive in the respective industries that they compete in. Through the solution we have facilitated importation of machinery, raw materials, and packaging materials. These goods are for the construction, medical, mining and manufacturing sectors,” said Mr Nyika.
He said the Standard Bank Group of South Africa subsidiary launched the facility to build a trusted trading bridge and help individuals and businesses steer through the diversity of suppliers in China.
Through the facility, Stanbic Bank’s clients are guaranteed tailor-made solutions which meet their requirements and production flow and they are linked directly with Original Equipment manufacturers in China.
“As Stanbic Bank, we understand that importing from China has unique challenges and risks for Zimbabwean businesses and as such the China import solution is designed to support businesses at every stage of the import journey…Stanbic Bank’s Africa-China Trade Solutions (ACTS) offers customers assistance with cross-border trade requirements from start to finish,” he said.
This service is being offered free of charge by Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe as the institution seeks to support its clients to access quality products from China. The clients are, however, charged between 3-5 percent commission by the agent in China depending on the product and value of the products.
Mr Nyika said Stanbic Bank’s thrust in 2022 is to partner its clients for growth and the institution identified a need for its clients through the import solution and aims to make importing from China seamless.
“The service not only allows for seamless trade but also provides the best prices for quality products. As a bank we believe that this offering will be of immense value to the clients that we serve and allow them to compete effectively in their chosen areas of operation,” said Mr Nyika.
He said the Africa China Import Solution has succeeded in boosting import quality for Stanbic Bank importing clients through guaranteed quality assurance, testing and certification.
The solution epitomises how Stanbic Bank succeeds in executing its vision to be the leading service organisation in, for and across Africa, delivering exceptional client experiences and superior value.
“Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has succeeded with its mission by introducing this trailblazing service, which is of immense value to our clients. Our aim as a bank is to continuously improve our offerings and partner with our clients for growth…According to market research, Stanbic Bank is the only bank offering such comprehensive assistance for importation from China,” he said.
The facility would have performed even much better but was not spared by the negative effects of Covid-19, which impacted on production and shipping turnaround times.
Mr Nyika said Stanbic Bank’s partnership with the world’s largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), gives an unrivalled competitive advantage when it comes to Africa-China trade.
With ICBC’s financial and global reach and Stanbic Bank’s deep expertise and heritage in Africa, Stanbic Bank can link importers to growth-opportunities in the African and Chinese economies.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the biggest bank in the world by assets and also a shareholder of Standard Bank Group, the parent company for Stanbic Zimbabwe.
The facility is being undertaken in partnership with Chinese trade agent, Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain 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 relationship with ICBC was very instrumental in the formation of the partnership with Zhejiang International Trading company to offer this service.
ICBC assisted in the identification and nomination of the Chinese trade agent to allow for seamless importation from China.
“The Africa China Import Solution has brought an understanding of the Zimbabwean and Chinese market. Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co have accumulated knowledge of the Zimbabwe importer through a high number of product inquiries and quotation requests made by customers from different sectors.
The quotation request process proved that there are more exporting opportunities for the Chinese suppliers to Zimbabwe,” said Mr Nyika.