Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has entered into a partnership deal with a Chinese bank and agent to help local businesses import quality products amid revelations that Zimbabwe has become a dumping ground for substandard goods from the world’s second largest economy.
The partnership with the Industrial Commerce Bank of China and Chinese trade agent Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co. Ltd called “Africa China Import Solution” will see Stanbic Bank providing its clients access to products from most of the competitive manufacturers in China.
Head Business and Commercial Clients, 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.
Mahatchi said Guomao has over 10 000 validated Chinese suppliers, a position which allows Zimbabwean importers access to a one-stop foreign trade supply chain and cross border e-commerce supply chain service.
“This is a major breakthrough for our clients because they are now guaranteed top of the range products of the highest quality. 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,” Mahatchi said.
He said Stanbic importing clients will enjoy unparalleled competitive edge over other players in their chosen business areas on the back of this partnership which ranks high up there among all the financial institution’s deals.
The partnership will allow for seamless importation from China for corporates and individuals, in addition to boosting and growing the business volumes of Stanbic bank’s clients.
Mahatchi said the partnership was 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.
Zimbabwean importers 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.
“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. The service will be offered free of charge and only to Stanbic Zimbabwe business and personal clients,” Mahatchi said.
The partnership is also in line with Stanbic Bank and its parent company, Standard Bank Group’s purpose of driving Africa’s growth.
He said 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,” he said.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, last year Zimbabwe imported US$470.73m worth of goods.
Machinery, boilers, took the bulk of the imports chewing up US$138.89m followed by articles of iron or steel and electrical, electronic equipment at US$49.52m and US$49.25m respectively.
Miscellaneous chemical products took up US$36.82m while vehicles other than railway and tramway took up US$27.59m. Rubbers US$24.84m; Optical, photo, technical, medical apparatus US$24.30m; inorganic chemicals, precious metal compound, isotope US$19.09m. plastics US$15.95m; and other made textile articles, sets, worn clothing chewed up the remaining US$10.07m.
China has been Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend since the turn of the millennium after Harare looked East following disagreements with the West over democracy and governance deficit. Beijing has also donated vaccine doses.