Delivering on Standard Bank’s ambition to build Africa’s dominant business trade platform is not as unlikely as many may think.
As a bank committed to driving Africa’s growth, for decades Standard Bank has steadily expanded its footprint and deepened its reach and capability across 20 African territories.
Today, the bank is the largest by assets in Africa. Through Standard Bank’s equity partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the biggest bank in the world, the Group represents a formidable continent-wide banking ecosystem, driving Africa’s growth by linking Africans to each other – and Africa with the world.
Technology, presence and global reach define continent’s future trade ecosystem
To date much of the Group’s effort has, correctly, focused on the banking value chain, supporting trade within markets, cross-border and globally at a transactional level.
Philip Myburgh, Head of Trade and Africa-China at Standard Bank’s Business & Commercial Clients’ (BCC) division, believes recent developments inside and between African countries – and the world – present a powerful argument for the emergence of a dedicated end-to-end trade practice serving the entire African business value chain.
On the opportunity side: Rapidly growing markets in East and West Africa. Expanding inter and intra-regional trade.
Recovering global trade driven largely, though not exclusively, by China. The broadly ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The re-emergence of global growth post-Covid.
These all combine to present Africa’s small, medium, and larger businesses with a trade opportunity set to re-ignite the African growth story and sustain growth for generations to come.
On the challenge front: In a world where local and global supply chains have been disrupted customers face new and complex risks.
Understanding and successfully negotiating new global trade and supply realities requires advanced knowledge, presence and access to agile global networks supported by much more advanced connectivity technology.
Beyond merely facilitating transactions, taking a more holistic view of trade across 15 of the continents’ most active trade markets presents BCC an opportunity to leverage its developed local, continental, and global ecosystems to intervene strategically at critical points along Africa’s trade value chain.
By deploying and expanding its existing presence, networks and insight, BCC can link, inspire, support, fund and grow the ability of African businesses to leverage trade for multifactor growth.