In an effort to strengthen its capacity building across the local markets, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has revealed that it will focus on unifying continental market for Nigerian businesses.
Brandnewsday understands that SDB made this known in a hosted virtual conference titled, “Implication of a single continental market for Nigerian Businesses’’, for its clients and stakeholders on 21st January 2021.
The Standard Chartered Bank who organized the conference to foster the fascination in Implications of a Single Continental Market for Nigerian businesses on the back of the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement on 1st January 2021.
The virtual conference was a unique opportunity for the Bank to re-reinforce its brand promise and commitment to driving commerce and prosperity across Africa which remains a strategic region for the Banks for trade and investments priorities.
African Continental Free Trade Area: AfCFTA
AfCFTA is expected to facilitate the creation of a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of people and investment capital, thus deepening economic integration of member countries and expanding intra-African trade across the continent.
Meanwhile, many experts consider that full implementation of the agreement will provide growth opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses, boost industrialization, increase investment opportunities and technology transfers.
The conference provided a platform for major Multinationals, International Corporates, Industry Experts, Policy Makers, Regulators and other stakeholders in Nigerian to garner new perspectives on the opportunities for the economics of scale, industrialization, investment flows, human capital development and business expansions as well as potential challenges that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement may portend for the Nigeria business environment.
According to CEO of SDB, Lamin Manjang: “Full implementation of AfCFTA could provide a lever to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and help move millions out of poverty by 2025. SCB combines its local knowledge and tracks record in 15 African markets with a global network spanning more than sixty countries and continuous investment in products and services, making us the ideal partner for clients.”
Keynote speaker, Razia Khan (Chief Economist for Africa and the Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank) commented that: “AfCFTA presents an opportunity for the Nigerian Economy to move away from oil dependency and put in place meaningful diversification which will impact policies as well as the FX regime.
”The Nigerian Economy’s advantage is its scale, as it makes development more rapid than other African counterparts. The key to leveraging this is finding the right synergies.”
Standard Chartered Bank (SDB) Unveils Single Continental Market Plan For Nigerian Businesses
Also, commenting on the development, Head, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, Ibiyemi Okuneye added that “The successful implementation of the agreement will require collective partnerships and co-operation between the public and private sector as AfCFTA is not just about moving goods and services, but about moving the entire continent forward for industrialisation and economic growth.”
Correspondingly, many honoraries who graced the virtual event and doubled as speakers include intellectuals from corporate and government institutions namely: Alhaji Jibrin Apeh Salifu (Deputy Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Central Bank of Nigeria), Mr Ayalogu Anthony (AG, Comptroller, Trade Facilitation, Nigeria Customs Service), Professor Jonathan Aremu (International Economic Relations at the Covenant University, Nigeria),
Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki (GED International Trade & Export Dangote Industries Limited), Mr Bamidele Ayemibo (CEO, 3T IMPEX, Trade Academy), Omolara Adenusi (Head, Cash Management at Standard Chartered Bank) and Sola Bakare (Head, Global Subsidiaries at Standard Chartered).
However, the speakers shared important and useful insights on how AfCFTA will facilitate opportunities for infrastructure development and economic transformation of Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Standard Chartered’s strategic purpose is driving commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity across emerging markets we operate (Asia, Africa and the Middle East).