Standard Bank said Monday it supports the new and enhanced initiatives announced at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, and remains committed to ensuring that the opportunities arising from the China-Africa cooperation are beneficial for all parties.
FOCAC highlighted the progress made over the past three years and also laid down new initiatives which will continue to drive cooperation. These include China’s promise of US$10 billion (about P66 billion) in Government concessional loans to African countries over the next three years and support for initiatives addressing climate change challenges in Africa.
Speaking at the Entrepreneur’s Forum of FOCAC in Egypt, Craig Bond, Chief Executive of Standard Bank China said: “Standard Bank will work closely together with our Chinese partners to support the new and enhanced FOCAC initiatives, including advising Chinese companies on the tremendous opportunities in Africa, helping them mitigate the risks, and offering a complete range of banking solutions to these companies on the ground in African countries.”
“The US$10 billion concessional loan initiative is highly commendable and I believe that the economic opportunities in Africa are tremendous and that much more than US$10 billion of Chinese loan financing and investment will flow into Africa over the next three years. Much of this will be Chinese commercial bank financing and China’s commercial banks have both the liquidity and the appetite to step up their support for China’s trade and investment with Africa.”
“With almost 150 years of experience on the African continent and through its strategic partnership with ICBC, Standard Bank is well-positioned to facilitate these commercial financing transactions for trade, infrastructure and investment projects, thereby expanding the financing opportunities available to Chinese and African companies, both large and small.”
Craig Bond reaffirmed that building strong partnerships was crucial in ensuring that China’s overseas investment strategy was mutually beneficial for all parties involved, particularly for African countries. These partnerships should extend beyond Government-to-Government relations, deepening and broadening to include strong cooperation between Chinese and African businesses and growing understanding and trust between people.
“China’s open policy over the past 30 years has fundamentally and positively changed China’s global role. China’s economic growth has been creating opportunities for emerging economies to enter the global economy and grow their way out of underdevelopment and poverty. China’s growing influence has played a large part in Africa’s recent economic successes. Strong growth in trade and investment is fuelling a renewal of Africa’s underdeveloped infrastructure networks, laying the platform for future economic growth and human development.”
Craig Bond added, “Standard Bank is well positioned to serve as a bridge connecting China with African countries to help establish and grow these mutually beneficial partnerships.”
In May 2009, Standard Bank and ICBC announced that they would jointly arrange a US$825 million (about P5.5 billion) loan for 20 years to finance the Morupule B Power Station in Botswana, to be built by the China National Electric Equipment Corporation. This transaction is the largest commercial loan by a Chinese bank in Africa, and is regarded as one of the landmark deals in China-Africa cooperation over the past three years.
Leina Gabaraane the Stanbic Bank Botswana Managing Director said “the China-Africa cooperation is an initiative we strongly embrace. Botswana has already started reaping the benefits through the funding of projects such as the Morupule B Power Station. This partnership unveils more opportunities for trade investment and growth ÔÇô ultimately moving Africa forward.”
“FOCAC has highlighted the growing and healthy interdependence between China and African countries. Africa now truly needs China and China increasingly needs Africa.”