Standard Bank Group says it will make deliberate efforts to support local traders who import merchandise from China by linking them with Chinese producers and providing them with financial support.
In an interview on Friday on the sidelines of a dinner reception in celebration of Chinese Mid Autumn in Lilongwe, the bank’s executive head of Africa China banking George Lo said they have been offering more support to Chinese businesses coming to Malawi and other African countries.
He said this initiative will be the beginning of many things to come.
“The most amazing thing about Malawi is that while to many it is landlocked and one of the poorest economies in the world, the opportunities and the know-how we can present are so immense and I am so excited about unlocking direct trade between the two countries. The exciting thing for me is that this is not even the first chapter but the prelude or preface of the chapters,” said George.
He said Standard Bank Group will achieve this through its strategic partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), which has 20 percent stake in Standard Bank Group.
“When the bank’s desires come into effect, traders will no longer have to go through agents or middlemen who increase the cost of doing business, thereby being able to trade cheapest and fastest after the bank facilitated payment seamlessly,” he said.
In his remarks, Chinese Ambassador Shi-Ting Wang said this is an opportunity that local businesses have to utilise.
Commenting on the Mid Autumn Festival, he said it an event of family reunion which is celebrated in mid August, which is also the Chinese Lunar New Year.
“Standard Bank primarily hosted the Chinese community in the country to serve as a family reunion of sorts,” he said. n