THE China International Import Expo (CIIE) has helped to diversify China’s sources of imports and facilitate greater trade flows between China and Africa, said François Gamet, head of Asia for the Standard Bank Group and CEO of Standard Advisory (China) Ltd.
Transactions have been concluded on the back of the CIIE, representing a direct impact, but evidence of a wider indirect impact has also been seen, with customers learning about CIIE through Standard Bank’s marketing and looking to China as a potential trade partner, he said.
At the most recent edition of the CIIE, Standard Bank hosted two stands: one in the financial services pavilion and the other in the agro-processing pavilion, greatly benefitting our customers who were predominantly from this sector, he added.
Gamet points out that many of Standard Bank’s customers who attended the CIIE have negotiated sales agreements, with Chinese buyers purchasing products such as wines, fruits, nuts, chillies, and a variety of other agricultural and agro-processed goods.
For many clients, it was their first sale in the Chinese market and therefore an exciting, lucrative, new market entry for them. In some instances, these exporters had to increase capacity to meet their first orders, further indicating the extent to which the CIIE can benefit African businesses, according to Gamet.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in slower economic growth this year, Gamet retains his confidence in the Chinese economy and the Belt and Road Initiative, which has brought important development opportunities to African countries.
Despite the gloomy economic outlook, the structural drivers in the China-Africa corridor remain intact, and are likely to re-assert themselves soon, he said.
Over the past 16 years, African countries have enjoyed a strong trade relationship with China. Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce show that bilateral trade between the two sides reached more than $200bn in 2018, representing a year-on-year rise of 20 per cent.
Standard Bank remains committed to driving Africa’s growth and sees trade with China as crucial to supporting this commitment, added Gamet.
This year’s CIIE will take place from 5-10 November 2020 at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai.
At CIIE, participants can purchase a wide range of products from the world and can also sell their products to the world. CIIE helps drive investment both inward and outward and contributes to maintaining a stable global supply chain. CIIE welcomes global buyers to join the upcoming event and to share opportunities presented by China’s further opening up.