South Africa's Nedbank and the Bank of China have entered into a strategic business cooperation agreement designed to grow business flows between China and Africa, as well as provide support to investors.
"The alliance will support clients of the Bank of China as they look to grow and invest in South Africa and the rest of Africa by providing access to an African bank with a deep understanding of how to do business in Africa, and similarly providing support through the expertise of the Bank of China for Nedbank clients expanding into China," Nedbank said in a statement.
It added that, "The China-Africa relationship is dynamic on many fronts" and that "China is South Africa's most significant trading partner in terms of both exports and imports, and has been so for the past four years."
Nedbank is Africa's fourth largest bank and the Bank of China is the ninth largest in the world.
The Bank of China established a Johannesburg branch in 2000 to support the development of investment and trade between China and African countries.
Mike Brown, Chief Executive of Nedbank said: "Nedbank has a long-standing relationship with the Bank of China that has evolved over time and the alliance will provide Nedbank with access to new clients and new markets, and will facilitate both parties' lending, trade finance and transactional banking businesses across Africa.' He noted that the BoC also has an existing alliance with Nedbank's parent, Old Mutual, and with Ecobank, Nedbank's alliance partner in Central and West Africa. 'We are therefore delighted to engage formally with the Bank of China, which shares our positive view on the exciting development of the African continent."
50 of China's 73 Fortune 500 Companies have a presence in Africa.
"The signing of this agreement can be recognised as a major milestone in the development of the collaboration between the two banks and will enable both parties to deepen cooperation to their mutual benefit," said Zhikun Qiu, the CEO of the Bank of China's Johannesburg branch.
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