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‘Trans-regional trade will boost investment in Nigeria, Africa’

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Map of Africa<br />Photo: Nationalacademies

For Nigeria and the entire African continent to accelerate own investments and growth profile, it must increase trade among member countries to the global average of 50 per cent.

The Chief Executive, Personal & Business Banking (PBB), Standard Bank, Zweli Manyathi, said this while announcing the bank’s trans-regional conference, which kicked off in Lagos yesterday.

According to him, regional trade accounts for up to 70 per cent of some countries’ trade flows, while Africa currently constitutes only 12 per cent.

He argued that if the continent can increase trade among the countries to the 50 per cent global average, Africa would be far less reliant on global trade and investment for its growth.

“This will also mean that, for the first time in history Africa will be able to set and drive its own investment and growth agenda – independently,” he added.

“On average, regional trade accounts for about 50 per cent of most regions’ trade flows. In Asia the world’s fastest growing region – regional trade accounts for up to 70 per cent of some countries’ trade flows.

Since intra-regional trade in Africa currently accounts for only 12 per cent of trade flows, Standard Bank has identified the rapid promotion of continental trade as a key priority in achieving the kind of growth that will transform the lives of ordinary Africans.

He noted that the bank hopes to build the foundations of sustainable long-term intra-African trade growth in sub-Saharan Africa, by pioneering the dialogue across Africa’s broad trade, corporate and commercial ecosystem, facilitating partnerships for business development and boosting intra-Africa trade.

“An additional feature of this year’s conference will be a focus on leveraging Africa’s special relationship with China.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank, holds a 20% shareholding in Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank.

“This critical institutional relationship has resulted in various initiatives across the continent – from Renminbi trading, to Africa-China business centres, and landmark deals that collectively constitute Standard Bank’s Africa-China trading corridor.


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