The bank has singled out growing investments and opportunities for trade between Kenya and China as a key economic catalyst hence the need to tap into it.
Bank of China and Barclays Bank have already established a Chinese Business Unit, and also unveiled a number of propositions designed to provide financial services for the Chinese enterprise.
Speaking in Nairobi, during a dinner held to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Barclays Bank’s Managing Director, Jeremy Awori expressed confidence in the bank’s resources and expertise to provide more value to its Chinese clientele.
“We lean heavily on our regional and global offices for expertise and best practice in order to offer customers the best possible financial service. More importantly, our global footprint enables us to offer our business and retail customers a near seamless service for their transactional business requirements,” said Jeremy
The increase in China’s economic involvement in Africa is arguably the most momentous development on the continent today. China has become a major destination for a range of African exports as well as an increasingly significant source of a wide range of manufactured goods imported by many African countries. To this end, Barclays Bank is positioning itself to enhance seamless foreign currency trade for customers.
“We have put in place competitive propositions in order to facilitate increasing trade flows between South East Asia and East Africa. Being the market leader in FX, we are able to offer very competitive exchange rates as a result of the large volumes of FX flows that we deal with,” said Awori.
He further added, “We will, in the first half of this year, have RMP currency and trade settlement capability which will enable our clients to trade directly in the Yuan.”
China is the largest foreign direct investment source for Kenya and the second largest trading partner after Uganda.
According to China’s Customs authorities, the bilateral trade volume reached $2.4 billion (Sh206.4 billion) in 2011 and $2.8 billion (Sh240.8 billion) in 2012. Last year, trade volumes rose to$3.27 billion (Sh281.2 billion), with the year-on-year growth rate of 15 per cent.
The Chinese New Year celebratory dinner held the 23rd of January, 2015 hosted the Chinese business community in Kenya as well as various corporate leaders and government dignitaries order to provide an avenue for interaction with its Chinese clientele and build the profile of the newly introduced China Business Desk,
The actual Chinese New Year takes place on February 19th when the Chinese will see off the year of the horse and usher in the year of the sheep/goat.