Build Africa’s first business platform

Philip Myburgh, head of trade and Africa-China in the Business & Commercial Clients (BCC) division of Standard Bank. (Picture: supplied)

Realizing Standard Bank’s ambition to build Africa’s dominant business platform is not as unlikely as many might think. As a bank committed to driving Africa’s growth, for decades Standard Bank has steadily expanded its presence and deepened its reach and capabilities across 20 African territories. Today, the bank is the largest in terms of assets in Africa. Through Standard Bank’s capital partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, the Group represents a formidable continent-wide banking ecosystem, driving Africa’s growth in connecting Africans to each other – and Africa to the world. .

Much of the Group’s efforts to date have rightly focused on the banking value chain, supporting in-market, cross-border and global trade at the transactional level. Philip Myburgh, head of trade and Africa-China in Standard Bank’s Business & Commercial Clients (BCC) division, believes that recent developments within and between African countries – and the world – present a compelling case. powerful for the emergence of a dedicated end-to-end business practice service serving the entire value chain of African businesses.

On the opportunity side: rapidly growing markets in East and West Africa. Develop inter and intra-regional trade. Recovery in global trade driven largely, but not exclusively, by China. The widely ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The re-emergence of post-Covid global growth. All of this combines to provide African small, medium and large businesses with a business opportunity destined to re-ignite Africa’s growth story and sustain growth for generations to come.

On the challenge front: In a world where local and global supply chains have been disrupted, customers face new and complex risks. Understanding and successfully negotiating the new realities of global trade and sourcing requires advanced knowledge, presence and access to agile global networks supported by much more advanced connectivity technology.

Beyond simply facilitating transactions, adopting a more holistic view of trade across 15 of the continents most active trading markets offers the BCC an opportunity to leverage its developed local, continental and global ecosystems to strategically intervene at critical points in Africa’s trade value chain. By deploying and expanding its existing presence, networks and knowledge, the BCC can connect, inspire, support, finance and develop the capacity of African businesses to leverage trade for multi-factor growth.

Strategically, much of this ecosystem is already within reach.

Commercial corridors

Standard Bank has already built and is successfully implementing strategic African trade corridors.

Designed in partnership with ICBC, Standard Bank’s Africa-China Trade Corridor Solutions have been designed to give practical force to the African growth narrative of the past decade. In addition, the bank’s long-established trade corridor capabilities between Europe and the United States have ably equipped Africans to access major developed economies, and the developed West to access Africa for generations. .

As the benefits of the AfCFTA grow, Standard Bank’s established business ecosystem will enable clients to access and expand the estimated $70 billion annual business opportunities in Africa.

Unparalleled African and global networks

Standard Bank’s extensive network of large African corporates, cross-border and regional businesses and global multinational clients operating across the continent provides a insider’s view of African opportunities. This network also provides access to an ecosystem of producers, suppliers, sellers and buyers – across Africa and, through ICBC, around the world. The bank’s capacity across these value chains, combined with capital and off-the-shelf business solutions, provides a huge opportunity to bring small, emerging, and even the largest local and regional business customers to the market. scale of growth and diversification.

A trading platform company

Combining Standard Bank’s full suite of business support, technology, capital and knowledge into one well-coordinated ecosystem will create an unparalleled business platform in Africa.

These strategic advantages are complemented by a host of powerful, expert-focused business solutions developed to solve customer problems and support the expansion of African trade.

Trade club and Commercial suite provide customers with end-to-end trading, import/export, finance, shipping, customs and foreign exchange capabilities.

The Africa-China import solution supports the sourcing and importing of quality-controlled, price-competitive goods and services from China, including everything from letters of credit and customs to logistics and payment. The entire process is done remotely without customers ever having to travel to China, or even visit their local bank branch.

Another issue for many African traders, importers, exporters and businesses is transportation. Specifically, the cost of trucks. Together with ICBC, Standard Bank negotiated a specialized transport solution with Sino Truck, one of the largest heavy vehicle suppliers in China. By providing more affordable trucks backed by better payment terms while offering financing solutions, Standard Bank helps customers raise capital and secure currency to purchase the trucks.

On the export side, Standard Bank takes African producers of nuts, wine, seeds, chilli, edible oil and other agricultural products to the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the Biannual China-Africa Economic Trade Expo (CAETE). Presence pretty much guarantees supply contracts as the full range of Chinese buyers are present. Standard Bank also hosts quarterly virtual trade matchmaking events focused on specific sectors. At these events, African producers or exporters are introduced virtually to dozens of potential buyers, often closing deals on the spot.

By connecting Africans to each other and Africa to the world, Standard Bank supports its customers with the largest and most efficient African business ecosystem in the world. It is not impossible that this unique and ever-expanding capability will materialize Standard Bank’s bold ambition to become Africa’s leading commercial bank.

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Standard Bank.

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