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Standard Bank launches ACAP to help African importers

By: Ulysses peprah- Agyemang

Standard Bank, the parent bank of Stanbic Ghana, has launched an initiative, dubbed “African China Agent Proposition” (ACAP), aimed at assisting African importers to source and validate quality goods from competitive suppliers in China.
The initiative is expected to ease the cash flow of African importers by providing access to financing while empowering them to have control of the entire importing and logistic process.

ACAP, which is underpinned by a letter of credit, is expected to 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.

 At the launch in Accra, the head of Africa China Integration, Standard Bank, Dr Manasseh Alagbaoso, said Ghana was at the heart of the proposition and as such all client engagements and insights that were used to develop the proposition came mostly from Ghana, Namibia and Nigeria.

He said the offer would place African importers in a much stronger negotiation position with regard to price, quality and efficiency of importing Chinese goods.

“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 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC),” he stated.

He announced that Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain (Guomao) was nominated as the Chinese trade agent to partner with Standard Bank to assist African importers to engage in trade activities with China.

“Guomao has almost 10,000 suppliers that meet the import needs of clients and will assist African importers to source the right suppliers, negotiate the best prices and trade conditions and arrange for importers to travel to China”.

Bringing Ghanaians and China closer
The Head of Business Banking, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr Farihan Alhassan, said the partnership would bring Ghanaians and China closer as an opportunity to unlock the untapped potential that connected the two countries.

He said ACAP would help equip African importers to navigate simple and complex aspects of doing business in China for economic development.

The Manager in charge of Stanbic Trade Club, Madam Sandra Siane, said as a result of the ACAP initiative, the club was established to help exporters find new business opportunities and explore new markets.

She said the Trade Club had a well-structured and comprehensive resource library on trade and everything a business customer needed to know about trade, import and export flows; customs, shipping and market analysis.