ZIMBABWEAN businesses would be able to import quality goods from China by riding on the landmark partnership between Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, the Industrial Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) and Chinese trade agent Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co. Ltd.
Named the “Africa China Import Solution”, the partnership would see Stanbic Bank providing its clients access to quality goods from most of the competitive manufacturers in China.
Under the agreement, local businesses will be able to source and validate quality goods safely and efficiently from most of the competitive manufacturers in China as opposed to the previous blind importation of substandard products, which would be condemned on arrival.
Stanbic head of business and commercial clients, Mr Patson Mahatchi, said the partnership will enable Zimbabwean importers to ride on the supply chain base offered by Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co. Ltd, which trades as Guomao.
The Chinese trade agent has over 10 000 validated Chinese suppliers, a position that allows Zimbabwean importers access to a one-stop foreign trade supply chain and cross border e-commerce supply chain service, said Mr Mahatchi.
“This is a major breakthrough for our clients because they are now guaranteed top of the range products of the highest quality,” he said. “The emphasis here is on quality because Guomao is the epitome of superior products and this partnership is definitely going to transform the stature of our importing clients.”
Under this partnership, Mr Mahatchi Stanbic Bank’s importing clients would enjoy unparalleled competitive edge over other players in their chosen business areas. He said the partnership ranks ‘high up there’ among all the financial institution’s deals.
The landmark partnership is expected to not only boost and grow the business volumes of Stanbic bank’s clients but will allow for seamless importation from China for corporates and individuals, he added.
According to Mr Mahatchi, the partnership is strategic on many fronts, one of which would be strengthening of trust in African-China trade relationships by guaranteeing Zimbabwean importers access to reputable suppliers in China.
“China is called the “World’s Factory” and the partnership will definitely build a trusted trading bridge and steer through the diversity of suppliers in China for Stanbic Bank clients,” he said.
“The service will be offered free of charge and only to Stanbic Zimbabwe business and personal clients,” said Mr Mahatchi.
The partnership is also in line with Stanbic Bank and its parent company, Standard Bank Group’s purpose of driving Africa’s growth.
Stanbic and its parent company are driven by a quest to showcase that “Africa is our home” hence it is key to spearhead the growth of this place called home.
“This is achieved by putting together such innovative partnerships as the Africa-China Import Solution whose ripple effects will change the face of the region and continent at large,” said Mr Mahatchi.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, last year Zimbabwe imported US$ 470.73 million worth of goods.
Machinery, boilers, took the bulk of the imports, chewing up US$138.89 million followed by articles of iron or steel and electrical, electronic equipment at 49.52 million and 49.25 million respectively.
Miscellaneous chemical products took up US$36.82 million while vehicles other than railway and tramway took up US$27.59 million. Rubbers US$24.84million; Optical, photo, technical, medical apparatus US$24.30 million; Inorganic chemicals, precious metal compound, isotope US$19.09 million; Plastics US$15.95 million; and other made textile articles, sets, worn clothing chewed up the remaining US$10.07 million.