On the 15th March 2017, Stanbic Bank Uganda hosted the Africa- China Economic Forum in Kampala. The Forum which will be an annual event is aimed at bringing together Chinese business community and Ugandan companies doing business with china to discuss trade and investment opportunities between the bilateral trading Partners and to provide a strategic platform that promote continuous dialogue between Africa and china
“China is Africa’s biggest and important partner accounting for over USD300 billion worth of business. This is a figure that has grown tenfold over the past decade alone and is one of the primary reasons the continent has witnessed such rapid spurt in economic growth over the period”, said Edwin Mucai, Stanbic’s head of Corporate and Investment Banking. According to the Ministry of trade, Industry and Cooperatives, total trade between Uganda and China reached about USD932.8 million in 2015.
Jeremy Stevens the Standard Bank, Beijing Economist predicts an increase in the share of Uganda’s trade with China citing the increasing demand for Chinese manufactured goods and raw-materials, price stability and the overall global GDP trends. The same sentiments are shared by Jibran Qureishi the Regional Economist, Standard Bank, expecting a recovery by the second half of 2017 onwards due to public investments to come from china especially if the policy on local content sourcing is enforced.
In Uganda China is actively engaged in the financing and construction of a number of large scale Investments like the Karuma Dam project which will add over 500MW to the national grid, the Standard Gauge Railway and the Entebbe-Kampala expressway among others, which will have lasting effects on the country’s economic outlook.
Stanbic’s Head of Global Markets, Anne Juuko pointed out the increased importance of the Chinese currency the Renmimbi (RMB), ranked as the 6th in international trade transactions; advising companies and individuals doing business in China to open up RMB accounts, to hedge them against forex losses and enable them use various trade instruments such as Telegraphic Transfers (TT) and Letters of Credit with greater ease. The Forum provided rich insights into the future of the socio economic relationship between Africa and China.