In order to assist Nigerian importers source and validate quality goods, safely and efficiently, from the most competitive suppliers in China, Stanbic IBTC has launched an Africa-China Agent Proposition (ACAP).
ACAP is expected to revolutionise African importers’ view of China’s supplier universe. The product is designed to ease the cash flow of African importers by providing access to financing, while empowering importers with sight and control of the entire importing and logistics process.
The product, which was officially launched in Nigeria, would also be launched in Ghana and South Africa, and is expected to connect African importers and Chinese exporters and open China to Africa. Other markets in Standard Bank’s African footprint will follow before the end of 2019.
According to a statement released by Stanbic IBTC, Nigerian importers currently order from only a handful of trusted Chinese suppliers, a situation that limits the negotiating power of African importers while stacking the terms of trade against them.
Ordering online provides access to a wider range of suppliers, but online imports cannot guarantee the quality of goods.
The statement said “in most cases too, advance payments for goods is required. This is often demanded in cash, without reciprocal guarantees of delivery or quality. This means that Nigerian importers often carry a disproportionate burden of risk in most transactions”.
The statement also revealed that “language and cultural barriers are also a challenge for African importers when travelling and negotiating supplier agreements in China. In response to these challenges, and in light of the vast opportunity that China presents as a trading partner, Standard Bank, the biggest bank in Africa, has leveraged its partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the biggest bank in the world, to connect African importers with a dedicated trade agent in China”.
Speaking on the ACAP offering, the Head, Africa China Integration, Standard Bank, Dr. Manessah Alagbaoso said “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”.
Alagbaoso revealed that if any of the terms of the letter of credit are not met, payment will not be made. As such, the offering would, “place African importers in a much stronger negotiating position when it comes to the price, quality and efficiency of importing Chinese goods.
He added that 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 Stanbic IBTC Bank or Standard Bank and ICBC”.
The Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Dr. Demola Sogunle, reaffirmed the bank’s objective of constantly exploring opportunities of adding significant value to the businesses of its customers.