Africa China Trade and Banking Solutions

The importing process from China comes with its own set of risks and challenges for African importers. Because we understand the risks that you may face when trading with China, Standard Bank has introduced the Africa China Agent Proposition. The offering was designed to assist you with connecting with the right suppliers in China and to help you source and validate the quality of goods.


Africa China Banking Centre

Access a virtual hub where Mandarin-speaking consultants can help Chinese businesses in Africa and connect African businesses with China.

Our Mandarin-speaking experts make it easier to operate as a local business in China, or as a Chinese business in Africa. Due to our partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), we also ensure that we always deliver a seamless banking experience.



  • First of its kind in Africa
    We’re providing the first major bridge across the Africa China  trade corridor. 
  • Eliminating queues and the need for travel
    Consultation is telephonic, online, via email and on WeChat. 
  • No linguistic challenges
    Our Mandarin-speaking consultants can assist you in both English and Mandarin. 
  • Caters for every business sector
    Whether you’re a small Trader, Freight Forwarding Agent, or local manufacturing company, you will experience win-win partnerships.


Email: [email protected]
Tel: +254-711068448
Business hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 – 17:00


Get more insights on Africa China trade at our BizConnect portal:



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Our Africa China Agent Proposition will support you during the different stages of your trading journey:


  • Travel logistics.
  • Supplier sourcing.
  • Goods quality validation.
  • Transactional banking capability.
  • Working capital facility.


  • Foreign exchange telegraphic transfers.
  • Issuance of letter of credit (LC).
  • Discounting of LCs.
  • Documentary inwards collection.
  • Import financing.
  • Transit insurance.


  • Working capital lines.
  • Cash management facility.


Q1. What is the full meaning of ACAP?
Answer: Africa China Agent Proposition

Q2. What is the ACAP service expected to achieve?
Standard Bank’s ACAP offering aims to assist African importers source and validate quality goods, safely and efficiently, from the most competitive suppliers in China. The ACAP offering is expected to revolutionise African importers’ view of China’s supplier universe. It will also ease the cash flow of African importers by providing access to financing while empowering importers with sight and control of the entire importing and logistics process.


Q3. How will the ACAP offering benefit Kenyan clients?

Currently Kenyan importers have a limited view of China’s supplier universe. Kenyan importers generally have to travel to China where they meet one or two suppliers, build up a relationship and then start importing. Kenyan importers are also generally required to pay in cash, upfront and in hard currency. Operating through an accredited trade agent in China means that African importers now have sight of and access to thousands of suppliers in China, enabling them to choose and negotiate better quality goods on better terms.


Since the process can be underwritten by a letter of credit, Kenyan importers will also no longer need to pay in hard currency upfront. Instead, they can keep their cash in the business until goods are landed and sold, aiding immensely with cash flow.


The Chinese trade agent also helps manage and communicate (in Mandarin) with suppliers, customs officials and shippers in China and along the import chain. This removes language barriers while lending visibility and predictability to the import process.


Q4. How will the ACAP offering benefit Chinese clients and Chinese suppliers?

Working in tandem with Standard Bank’s 20% shareholder, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the biggest bank in the world, the ACAP service provides for letter of credit-based payment, supported by an ICBC letter of credit raised and drawn down in China. This means that Chinese suppliers can be 100% confident of timely and full payment without either; running the risk of dispatching goods without payment - or having to insist on cash payment upfront in hard currency. Since Standard Bank, in Africa, has developed relationships with most of its client importers, Chinese suppliers can be confident that they are dealing with a reliable and accredited importer - holding a legitimate account at Standard Bank, ICBC’s African trade and banking partner.

Q5. What is the aim or benefit of ACAP?
Answer: The main aim is to connect African importers to Chinese suppliers through a nominated agent thereby delivering value to SIBTC clients. The agent ensures that they get the best deals by doing the following:

  • Source for the right suppliers for their business
  • Negotiate the best prices and trade conditions on behalf of the customer
  • Arrange travel logistics when the importer needs to travel to meet with various suppliers
  • Provide translators to facilitate trade negotiations and discussions
  • Validate and ensure the quality of goods from the suppliers meet the agreed and required standards by clients.
  • May provide financing services based on letter of credit from SBK and ICBC, should the need arise.
  • Handle the shipping logistics and delivery to destination, depending on customer’s preference

Q6. What is the name of the agent?
Answer: Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co Ltd also known as Guomao.  They are a China based agent appointed by ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) and Standard Bank to assist African importers execute trade seamlessly with China. Presently, Guomao has about 35,000 suppliers linked to them.

Q7. What minimum Volume of importation do I need to do before I can benefit from the ACAP proposition.
Answer: The agent can help with any size of importation. There is no restriction in terms of size or volume of import.

Q8. Does Guomao focus or specialize on any product type?
Answer: Guomao has a broad expertise and can handle procurement of all kinds of products, raw materials and goods. They can leverage their supplier base of over 35,000 companies to deliver on all orders.

Q9. What if I have an existing supplier?
Answer: You can still get quotations from your present suppliers and compare to that of Guamao for the same product quality before taking a decision on which one to go with. Guamao will not charge any fees if the trade wasn’t consummated through them so you can make as much enquiries as possible.

Q10. What is the turnaround time (TAT) once Negotiations have been concluded and Initial         Payment made?
Answer:  This is provided on a case-by-case basis depending to the product specification. This is also subject to local Shipping terms and documentation procedures.

Q11. Can payment be structured?
Answer:  Yes, this will be agreed with the agent prior to initial upfront Payment. The aim is to free up your cash-flows and help you get more products with reduced down payment to suppliers.

Q12. What are the allowable modes/currency of payment?
Answer:  Payments can be made through LCs, Bills or Telegraphic transfers depending on the importer’s preference. Guamao will not insist on any payment mode.

Stanbic Bank Kenya can also issue RMB LCs to make payments for goods procured under this proposition. This eradicates the need for you to source dollar thereby resulting in faster transactional TAT.

Q13. Do I have to be a customer of Stanbic Bank Kenya before I can benefit from ACAP?
Answer: Yes.


Q14. How long do I have to run my account with Stanbic Bank Kenya before I can benefit from ACAP?
Answer: You are not required to run an account with us for a specific period before you can benefit from ACAP. You can be linked to the agent- Guomao immediately you open an account with Stanbic Bank Kenya.

Q15. Can I make payments to Guamao from my other Bank accounts?
Answer: No, all payments to Guamao must be made from a Stanbic Bank Kenya account

Q16. Who takes responsibility if the received goods are not what was agreed upon?
Answer: The Agent- Guamao takes full responsibility to rectify any default on behalf of the customer.

Q17. Is this also applicable to imports from other Countries?
Answer: No, it is only applicable to imports from China.

Q18. Will the Bank charge me for the link to Guamao and this proposition?

Answer: No, it is free for us to link you to our agent. However, normal Bank transactional charges apply when the trade/import request is to be consummated.

Q19. What commission does Guamao charge when I need to consummate orders through them? Also, can I talk to the suppliers directly

Answer: Where all enquiries have been satisfactorily dealt and you place an order. Guamao charges a commission of between 3%-5% of the value of the import. Note that they are able to get you very competitive pricing on products such that the overall cost is lower when compared to market price. Yes Guamao can link you to the suppliers for direct discussions.

Q20. If I want to travel to China to see my suppliers, can Guomao assist?
Answer: Yes, Guomao can assist by providing a Chinese Government invitation letter and help with logistics arrangements.

Q21. What is in this for Stanbic Bank Kenya?
Answer: In line with our key purpose of Driving Africa’s growth, we seek to use our links with ICBC to solve observed trade problems with China so our clients can have a competitive edge over other players in their chosen Business areas and grow their Business volumes.  Our aim is to become the “go to” Bank as far as Global Trade is concerned with particular emphasis on Africa-China Trade. We believe this proposition is of immense value to our clients and will help us achieve our purpose as a Bank.

Q22. How do I contact Guomao?
Answer: Kindly send an email to [email protected] with the following details;

  • Promoters Name
  • Business Name
  • Stanbic Bank Kenya Account Number
  • Relationship Manager (If known)
  • Product(s) to be imported- i.e Product Name, Type, Specifications and Volume required

On the other hand, you can call +254-711068448 during the hours of 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and request to speak to a Relationship Manager in Africa China Banking.


There is no cost, this is a service provided by Standard Bank for its clients.
African importers (who are Standard Bank clients) can access China’s broad universe of suppliers, as well as the entire Standard Bank and ICBC-supported import process for free. 

Besides the usual fees associated with conducting an international trade via a letter of credit, the entire ACAP offering is available without cost, simply by joining Standard Bank’s digital trading platform, called Trade Club.


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