A trade facilitation solution with the aim of assisting importers from the African continent as a whole, Ghana inclusive, to source and validate quality goods from the most competitive suppliers in China, has been unveiled by Standard Bank Group.
The solution, dubbed Africa China Agent Proposition (ACAP) is expected to dramatically improve the knowledge of African importers including Ghanaians on China’s supplier market and opportunities available for trade with the world’s second largest economy.
Furthermore, ACAP will also ease the cash flow of African importers of goods from China through access to finance from the respective Stanbic Bank subsidiaries in their respective countries while empowering importers with sight and control of the entire importing and logistics process.
Most African importers currently order goods and services from just a handful of Chinese suppliers, with most importers having limited negotiation powers and consequently unfavourable terms of trade against most of such exporters.
Online selection of imports sometimes does not guarantee the quality of goods with other barriers including insistence on advance payments, and language barrier for African importers travelling to China further constraining trade volumes despite the vast opportunities that country presents as a trading partner. Therefore, ACAP has been touted as a timely intervention.
Head of Africa China Integration at Stanbic Bank, Dr. Manasseh Alagbaoso explained that Standard Bank has moved to leverage its partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s biggest bank to connect African importers.
“The ACAP offering underpinned by a letter of credit, will deepen trust in Africa-China trade relationships, guaranteeing importers access to the best suppliers in the Chinese market, the best payment terms and best quality” Dr. Alagbaoso said.
Instructively, ICBC has nominated Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co (Guomao) as the Chinese trade agent to partner the Standard Bank Group to assist importers across the continent with this agenda.
“Guomao currently has almost 10,000 suppliers from China that meet the import needs of our clients at Stanbic Bank”, Dr. Alagbaoso indicated, noting, “where the need of a client falls outside of the supplier base that Guomao has, another supplier will be sourced for that client after going through a process of new supplier validation.
Until then, Guomao, will assist importers to source right suppliers, negotiate best prices and trade conditions, arrange for importers to travel to China to meet suppliers, provide translators, finance imports based on letters of credit from Standard Bank and ICBC and handle shipping logistics.