Stanbic Bank Kenya and Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have Wednesday partnered with Chinese Trade Agent Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co. Ltd (Guomao) to launch an initiative aimed at assisting its importer clientele source and validate quality goods, safely and efficiently, from the most competitive suppliers in China.
The initiative,Africa China Agent Proposition (ACAP), provides access to a universe of Chinese suppliers and eases the cash flow of importers by providing financial support whilst empowering importers with insight and control of the entire importing and logistics process.
The programme has been jointly designed by Standard Bank Group, which Stanbic Bank Kenya is a member of, and Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
With over 20 years’ experience in foreign trade procurement services, Guomao is the first Chinese Trade Agent nominated by ICBC to partner with Standard Bank to assist African importers trade seamlessly with China.
It has 10,000 validated Chinese suppliers at its disposal, provides a one-stop foreign trade supply chain, supply chain finance, and cross-border e-commerce supply chain service,
Under the partnership, Guomao will offer a catalogue of services:
- Assist African importers to source the right suppliers and validating their quality of goods.
- Negotiate the best prices and trade conditions and arranging travel and supplier meetings in China.
- Provide quality guarantees and translators to facilitate trade negotiations and discussions.
- Finance imports based on a letter of credit from Standard Bank and ICBC as required and handle shipping logistics.
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, Standard Bank Group’s Head of Africa China Integration, Dr Manessah Alagbaoso, currently, African importers order from only a handful of trusted Chinese suppliers – limiting their negotiating power while stacking the terms of trade against them.
The alternative online ordering places the burden of risk with regards to quality and delivery on them, while travelling to China exposes them to hurdles such as language and cultural barriers when negotiating supplier agreements in China.
“The ACAP offering – underpinned by a letter of credit – will deepen trust in Africa-China trade relationships, guaranteeing African importers access to the best suppliers in China, the best payment terms and the best quality,” says Dr Alagbaoso. “If any of the terms of the letter of credit are not met, payment will not be made. As such, the offering will place African importers in a much stronger negotiating position when it comes to the price, quality and efficiency of importing Chinese goods.”
And added: “At the same time, Chinese suppliers can be confident that once the terms of the letter of credit have been met, payment will be made in full and on time – guaranteed by Standard Bank and ICBC, therefore African importers will be able to receive goods before payment is made allowing them to keep cash in the business for growth.”
Stanbic Bank Kenya’s Chief Finance Officer, Abraham Ongenge said the bank acknowledges the role China and Kenya play in expanding each other’s economic capacity and unlocking their potential to prosper through international trade.
“Stanbic Bank Kenya is committed to drive Kenya’s growth. This strategic trade partnership we believe will unlock the potential of this key sector to benefit the economy in the long-term. This illustrates our wholesome approach towards driving Kenya’s sustained growth because it is our home,” said Mr. Ongenge.
Traders can opt-in into the programme at no cost by simply joining Standard Bank’s digital trading platform – Trade Club.
Stanbic Bank Kenya has cemented its stature as a financial partner of choice for Chinese investors and Kenyans with business interests in China.
In 2016, it became the first bank in Kenya to avail the Yuan in all branches to facilitate trade between businesses in Kenya and China.
Last year, it launched theI Go Kenya, I Go China loyalty programme that rewards ICBC and Stanbic Bank Kenya card holders with discounted rates when visiting various attraction sites in Kenya.
The bank has also been working towards expanding its services to reach publicly and privately-owned Chinese companies operating in Kenya.