March 16–Stanbic Bank Uganda has hosted the Africa – China Economic forum in Kampala bringing together the Chinese business community and Ugandan companies doing business with China to discuss trade and investment opportunities between the bilateral trading partners.
“China is Africa’s biggest and important trading partner accounting for over 300 billion dollars’ worth of business. This is a figure that has grown tenfold over the past decade alone and is one of the primary reasons the continent has witnessed such a rapid spurt in economic growth over the period.
“Our objective as Stanbic in hosting this forum is to provide a strategic platform that promotes continuous dialogue between like-minded businesses who appreciate the importance of the special relationship between Africa and China,” Stanbic’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Edwin Mucai said while opening the forum at the Sheraton Hotel.
“As Africa’s biggest bank, we are uniquely placed to support this growth through our extensive geographical footprint across the continent which provides the ideal gateway for the promotion of cross-border projects between Africa and China. Also with ICBC as our partner, we have strong relationships with Chinese businesses, many of whom are already playing a significant part in the large-scale infrastructural development and the many associated industries which drive socio-economic transformation,” Mucai added.
In Uganda, China is actively engaged in the financing and construction of a number of large-scale Investments which will have lasting effects on the country’s economic outlook these include the Karuma Dam project which will add over 500 MW to the national grid, the Standard Gauge Railway and the Entebbe-Kampala expressway among others.
Talking about the increased importance of the Chinese currency the Renminbi (RMB) to the global economy, Anne Juuko, Stanbic’s Head of Global Markets pointed out that as China and Chinese companies continue to build up economic activity on the continent, the use of the Renminbi (RMB) in international trade will continue to gain traction.
She advised companies and individuals doing business in China to open RMB accounts which are now available to the bank’s clients in Uganda, to hedge them against forex losses and enable them to use the various trade instruments such as Telegraphic Transfers (TT) and Letters of Credit with greater ease.
Closing the conference Kevin Wingfield, the Stanbic’s Head of Business Banking thanked the participants for attending the forum which he said provided rich insights into the future of the socio-economic relationship between Africa and China.
“Standard Bank’s expertise in business and commercial banking allows us to create opportunities for both African and Chinese clients to meet, network and establish sustainable relationships. I am sure today’s forum has been beneficial to everyone who attended and I can guarantee that we will be hosting the Africa-China Economic Forum on an annual basis,” he said