Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited (as part of activities to mark the Africa SME Month being run across Standard Chartered Bank African franchises) recently held a Trade Corridor Forum to promote foreign trade between SME businesses in Nigeria and businesses in key trade markets in Asia and the Middle East.
Speaking at the forum which held at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, Mr Sajid Rahman, Regional Head Consumer Banking West Africa of Standard Chartered Bank said:
“Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria remains committed to leveraging on the bank’s international expertise and global reach – particularly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East – to ensure that our SME customers’ benefit from world class connections and business opportunities.
Over the last 3 weeks, the SCBN SME team has been celebrating “Africa SME Month” – an initiative focusing on the development and growth of SME businesses in Nigeria by providing them the competitive advantage to compete with businesses across the globe”
Also speaking, Ms. Aramide Ajayi, General Manager, SME Banking, Standard Chartered Bank stated
“The Trade Corridor Forum is one of several initiatives that Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria has introduced to leverage on the Bank’s presence in key Asian and Middle East markets like Hong Kong, China, United Arab Emirates and Korea.
With over 40 branches in China and 11 in United Arab Emirates, the Bank is strategically positioned to promote effective trade between our customers here in Nigeria and these key trade destinations.
In addition we have a portfolio of products that enhance the business outlook of our customers including International Trade Account (which provides preferential pricing on transfers), Express Trade and Visa Business card – a card that enhances payments for goods/services abroad while on business trips.
Today’s event – which focuses on China – is one of a series of workshops aimed at promoting trade with Asian and Middle East markets. A similar forum was held earlier this week which focused on business with the United Arab Emirates. All these activities being organised under the banner of the Africa SME month seek to highlight opportunities open to Nigerian SME businesses interested in establishing stronger links with partners in these key markets.”
Ms Ajayi further stated that in November 2007 five (5) customers of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria participated in a Trade Corridor trade mission to Hong Kong aimed at establishing broader contacts with business partners and agencies in that market. According to Ms Ajayi another trade mission to China and Hong Kong is scheduled for November this year and a larger team of at least 20 customers from Standard Chartered bank Nigeria is expected to attend.
Mr. Chinedu Anyanwu, Managing Director of NextWave Nigeria Limited – was one of the 5 Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria customers that participated in the trade mission to Hong Kong in 2007.
Mr Anyanwu stated that the experience was a truly rewarding one. According to him being part of a group of over 140 customers from different African franchises of Standard Chartered Bank provided a unique platform for exchanging ideas and networking which has proved invaluable.