Standard Bank opens a representative office in Ethiopia
Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets with offices in 20 African countries, has opened a representative office in Addis Ababa. Chief Executive, Ben Kruger, says this will act as an entry point for clients seeking to invest in Ethiopia and will be administered by Standard Bank’s head office in South Africa. Mr. Kruger said “As a bank rooted in Africa, our vision is to build a leading financial institution that delivers superior products and services for all our customers. We are able to leverage our strong position on the continent, our strategic partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and our sector expertise in natural resources, to facilitate capital investment in support of growth and to connect African markets to each other.,” The growth potential for the East African region continues to attract significant investment and Ethiopia’s remarkable growth has been underpinned by high public investment and a growing consumer base. The country boasts the second largest population on the continent; GDP growth has averaged around 10% over the past 5 years; and heavy public investment in agriculture, energy and transport are likely to continue to support growth in the medium term as the government concentrates on development of productive sectors. The energy sector is also set to boom with power projects at various stages of development, and with Ethiopia emerging as a major power hub in the region, energy exports will likely become a major foreign exchange earner in the near future. Industry and manufacturing, a top priority for Ethiopia, are likely to start making a more significant contribution in the country’s GDP said Mr. Kruger. Establishing a presence in Ethiopia is recognition of the increasing interest by investors and clients in the country’s economic growth, he added.