Standard Bank Namibia this week announced that the bank plans to develop products for local companies doing business with China in order to intensify trade ties between the two countries.

Standard Bank’s Corporate, and Investment Banking Chinese Relationship Manager, Annelie Cloete, said, the bank wants to introduce new solutions to facilitate personal remittances between Namibia and China.

“This will enable online person-to-person and business-to-business direct international payments and will be managed by dedicated specialist teams, improving convenience and reducing costs for our customers,” she said.

Cloete said the bank has already developed products for Namibian companies doing business with China, including hedging facilities in both US dollar and Chinese Yuan currencies, Customer Foreign Currency accounts for the appropriate currencies, electronic foreign exchange trading platform (e-Market), individual salary payments in Yuan or US dollar and letters of credit.

According to Cloete, the bank’s relationship with Chinese businesses has come a long way since the inception of the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Namibia in 2016.

“We want to use this bond to help our Chinese business community in Namibia not only to network, but also to transact and do business in a more seamless manner,” she added.

Meanwhile China remains the single biggest investor in Namibia after independence. The significant exchange of business between China and Namibia led to China overtaking South Africa as the largest export destination for Namibian products, making up 18.3% of total exports in the first quarter of 2018, Cloete added.

The Standard Bank Group is 20% owned by China’s biggest bank by assets, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
The relationship between Chinese businesses and Standard Bank was highlighted when the bank help China General Nuclear Power Corp acquire the Husab Uranium Mine in Namibia for around US$2.5 billion, making it the second largest Chinese investment in Africa only second to the investment by ICBC in the Standard Bank Group 11 years ago.

Caption: Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming (third from left) receiving a donation of N$50,000 from Annelie Cloete, Relationship Manager at Standard Bank. The handover was witnessed by the ambassador’s wife (far left); Mr Sun Yanlei, Secretary-general of the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Namibia; Warren Boer, Global Markets Standard Bank and Mr Feng Yuanfei, Chairman of the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Namibia.

Source : Economist

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