The Head of Africa China Integration of Standard Bank, Dr Manessah Alagbaoso has called on businesses in Ghana and Africa in general to use the Africa China Agent Proposition (ACAP) to enhance their businesses.
ACAP, an initiative of Standard Bank, is meant to assist African importers to source and validate quality goods, safely and efficiently from the most competitive suppliers in China.
Under the ACAP offering, Standard Bank has partnered 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 and customers as well as prospective customers of Standard Bank could enjoy the programme by joining the Standard Bank’s digital platform called Trade Club.
Speaking at the launch of the ACAP in Accra, Dr Alagbaoso said the ACAP sought to ease the cash flow of African importers by providing them access to financing while empowering importers with sight and control of the entire importing and logistic processes.
He said the current arrangement where importers in Africa had to pay their suppliers upfront before their goods were shipped to them was not a sustainable business practice and could seriously hamper their cash flow and financial position.
‘Importantly, the ACAP offering will ease the cash flow of African importers. Since Chinese suppliers will secure in their possession of an ICBC-underwritten letter of credit, African importers will be able to receive goods before payment is made. This will allow African importers to keep cash in the business for growth,” the Head of China Africa Integration of Standard Bank said.
Dr Alagbaoso explained that the ACAP offering underpinned by a letter of credit would 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.
He said the ACAP would place African importers in much a stronger negotiating position when it comes to the price, quality and efficiency of importing products from China.
The Head of Africa China Integration of Standard Bank said ICBC had nominated Zhejiang International Trading Supply Company Limited (Guomao) to partner Standard Bank to assist African importers trade seamlessly with China.
“Guomao currently has almost 10,000 suppliers that meet the import needs of our clients,” he said, adding that, “Where the need of a client falls outside of the supplier base that Guomao currently has, they will source new suppliers for that need after going through a process of new supplier validation and verification.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Ghana, Alhassan Andani said his outfit was committed to driving the growth of Ghana through the ACAP programme.
“That is why we see this partnership to bring the people of Ghana and China closer as an opportunity to unlock the untapped potential that contact between the countries offers. Deepening Ghana-Sino contacts will undoubtedly deliver even more benefits to the economy and underline our total commitment to driving growth,” he said.
By Kingsley Asare