(Times of Zambia)-Stanbic Bank Zambia has re-launched the Zambia-China Trade Connect to link importers of goods to more than 35, 000 manufacturers and suppliers in China.
Chief executive officer Mwindwa Siakalima (right) said the facility would help reduce costs and risks associated with the importation process and promote competitiveness in trade.
Mr Siakalima said the bank facilitates trade between two counties because China was Zambia’s second largest trade partner.
He said during the re-launch that the bank through the platform has decided to play an active role in fostering closer business relations between the two counties
Mr Siakalima said Zambia- China Trade Connect would facilitate smooth cross border trade within the two countries and spur economic growth on both sides.
“The facility will connect importers in Zambia to over 35 000 registered suppliers and manufacturers in China making the import process simpler and safer and secure,” he said.
Mr Siakalima said in the prevailing extremely competitive global environment, the bank saw the need to reduce trade costs with China by assisting clients to lessen the travel costs and provide seamless money transfers to exporters in China.
He said in the last 26 years exports to China from Zambia have increased to 16 per cent from $20 million in 1995 to $2.3 billion in 2022.
Imports from Zambia in 2022 alone amounted to $1.3 billion with the main products being tractors, agriculture equipment, tyre, stone processing machines and other goods according to data gathered from the Bank of Zambia.
Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) president Chabuka Kawesha commended the bank for promoting financial inclusion.
Dr Kawesha said the bank had been at the frontier in promoting market and trade finance solutions in the private sector for years.
He said trade finance solutions were what the private sector players needed because they required trade volumes to grow. Dr Kawesha said China remained the many source of imports accounting for 28.1 per cent.