In a move aimed at offering Nigerian and Chinese clients a business-to-business networking and personal advisory service and also help them to access and unlock opportunities in Nigeria-China trade, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has commissioned an Africa-China Banking Centre (ACBC) in Lagos.
The launch of the Africa – China Banking Centre was performed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Africa CEO, Mr. Lubin Wang; Commercial Consul, Chinese Embassy in Lagos, Liu Jun Sheng and top management executives of Stanbic IBTC. The opening of the centre was another significant step towards improving ease of doing business between Nigeria and China, coming after the signing of the bilateral currency swap agreement between the two countries earlier in the year.
According to Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Dr. Demola Sogunle, the launch of the centre represented a critical opportunity to leverage the full potential of Africa and China’s rapidly evolving trade partnership. He further explained that, “as an African bank with global reach, Stanbic IBTC is uniquely placed to unlock African opportunities by accessing Chinese capabilities”.
“Nigeria is a market with great potential for now and the future; ICBC has built a bridge between the two markets to create possibilities. This is the beginning for us to produce more specialized financial products and services for our Chinese clients and it is our aim to be the go-to Bank for Chinese businesses in Nigeria and Nigerian businesses trading with China,” said Sogunle.
The strategic institutional relationship involving the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Standard Bank and Stanbic IBTC was expected to drive trade between Africa and China with Stanbic IBTC listed as one of the settlement banks to manage the currency deal announced by the government.
ICBC, the world’s biggest bank, holds 20 percent stake in Standard Bank, while Standard Bank has 64 percent stake in Stanbic IBTC. The relationship presents a huge leverage in Africa-China trade ties and has resulted in various initiatives across Africa, ranging from Renminbi trading, to Africa-China business centers, and landmark deals, which collectively constitute Standard Bank’s Africa-China trading corridor.
Speaking on the development, Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Wole Adeniyi, noted that, “the rate of development in Nigeria and Africa at large depends on the ability to identify opportunities, as well as build and maintain strategic relationships that increase the ease of doing business in Nigeria; we must aim to add value beyond just banking and look to impact partnerships that would wholly improve trade and the economy by extension, this is our responsibility.”