23 April 2014

Africa: 'China-Africa Trade to Reach U.S.$280 Billion'

STANDARD Chartered Bank has projected that the China-Africa trade volumes may reach US$280 billion by 2015 due to huge investment opportunities for Chinese enterprises on the African continent.

In Zambia, the volumes of bilateral trade with China has reached more than $3 billion, whilst some 500 Chinese companies have established base in the country.

Standard Chartered Bank Zambia chief executive officer Andrew Okai said the bank's strategy was to bank people and companies that drive investment, trade and creation of wealth in the country.

"A key element of our strategy is to bank the people and companies that drive investment, trade and the creation of wealth in Zambia, and indeed across Asia, Africa and the Middle East," he said in a statement.

China- Africa trade and investment had boomed tremendously over the past two decades and latest statistics from the Chinese customs indicate that, trade volumes between China and Africa in 2013 hit a record high of $210.2 billion

The bank said the growth would be necessitated by the huge investment opportunities in the infrastructure, power and mining sectors.

Mr Okai said with China expected to remain a major player in Zambia's economy, the bank was committed to continue to develop strategic, tailor-made products to meet the needs of clients doing business in the Zambia-China trade corridor.

The bank in Zambia serves more than 100 Chinese business clients.

According to China's Ministry of Commerce, more than 2000 Chinese enterprises have invested in Africa and the stock of China's direct investment in Africa topped $20 billion by the end of 2012, and the direct investment in the same year, was nearly $3 billion.

Standard Chartered Bank China chief executive officer Jerry Zhang said China-Africa trade had grown more than 10-fold over the last decade.

As the only international bank with over 150-year history in both China and Africa, Standard Chartered has been actively facilitating China-Africa trade and investment flows.

We are very delighted to continuously share the latest knowledge and experiences with Chinese enterprises," Mr Zhang said.

The Chinese Council for promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce vice chairperson Zhang Wei said: "As Africa's economies grow continuously, Chinese enterprises are keen to invest and expand business in Africa, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the challenges including sophisticated economic and trade environments, to-be-improved financial services by local banks, and lack of Chinese banking network".

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