WINDHOEK – According to Standard Bank Namibia, the Chinese business community remains one of Namibia’s strongest allies as it continues to vastly contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. As such, the bank continues to cement its strong ties with Chinese business community, further enhancing Namibia/China business relations in the country.
To this end, the bank recently hosted an engagement for the Chinese community, who attended in their numbers as they were eager to hear about the Bank’s latest offering for them. In attendance was Standard Bank’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Anne Juuko, the Bank’s Economist, Naufiku Hamunime, Lydia Zhang the Head of Chinese Segment S7C, Xhiuzhu Li who is the Bank’s Global Sales Manager, Charles Galusha, the Head of Client Access and Adri Spangenberg, the CIB Head of Client Coverage, to name a few.
Welcoming the Chinese business community to the event, Juuko pointed out that the engagement was coming at the most opportune time as the Bank was celebrating 10 years of partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC). The marriage between ICBC and Standard Bank has created a platform to serve the growing demands of Chinese clients for global commodities, fixed income, currency and equities products while continuing as a distribution platform for African risk. “Namibia’s relationship with China is only growing stronger as evident by the recent visit of Premier Li Keqiang with President Hage Geingob,” she pointed out.
Additionally, she stressed that the engagement would inform the Bank how best to serve the Chinese community, acknowledging that how they do their business is different and through these types of engagements, they can grow together.
Trade between Namibia and China has been on the increase, with the latter being Namibia’s sixth largest export market, boasting growth in local exports to China with value from N$939 million in 2011 to N$1.9 billion in 2014.
Hamunime also gave a presentation of the global and regional economic outlook during the engagement. “Globally, growth strengthened in 2017 from 3.2 per cent to 3.8 per cent, supported by improvements in investment, trade and industrial production. Global output is expected to increase by 0.1 percentage point to 3.9 percent in 2018,” she observed.
In Southern Africa, growth picked up from 1.4 to 2.8 per cent – largely attributed to recoveries in the Angolan, Nigerian and South African economies. Recessions in Angola and Nigeria were reversed by the recovery in oil prices. Whereas growth in South Africa, improved by 1 per cent in 2017 with a strong performance in agriculture and mining sector.
“Locally, there was contraction due to declines in construction, wholesale and retail trade and the public sector. As such, slowdown of the economy in 2017 contributed to the shedding of jobs in various sectors of the economy. However, growth is expected to improve steadily to 1.4 percent in 2018. Medium term growth is expected to be supported by developments in the primary sector,” she said.
Speaking at the same event, Spangenberg said “With the continuous deepening of the friendly and cooperative relations between Namibia and China, more and more Chinese corporations have come to Namibia with their investments and expertise.”
“We hope to see you at future forums that allow us to exchange views on topics of common interest and how the bank can be of better service to you,” Spangenberg concluded.