Kampala — Ecobank Uganda has turned its marketing efforts towards the bustling Chinese business community.
“It is a good sign when players in the private sector, like Ecobank, come together and appreciate the efforts of the government.
“We are pleased to have supportive and action oriented bankers such as yourselves,” Chu Maoming, the Deputy Chinese Ambassador to Uganda said during a Chinese Business forum held at a Kampala hotel. He thanked the bank for its effort.
There has been a growing number of Chinese-owned businesses in the country even as Chinese contractors continue to dominate the major infrastructure projects in Uganda.
However, the bank’s main focus is to apparently offer tailor made banking solutions that will ease trade between Uganda and China.
According to Clement Dodoo, the Ecobank Uganda Managing Director, the move is in line with the Uganda government investment strategy and is geared towards attracting more investors from China which will ultimately have a positive impact on the country’s GDP.
Dodoo said, “We are a solid bank. Our major shareholders Nedbank with a 20.7% stake, Qatar National Bank who have a 17.8% stake, Public Investment Corporation of South Africa with 13.8%, International Finance Corporation with 5.2%, Social security and National Insurance of Ghana with 3.97% and others with 32.87% make us more optimistic of the potential here.
“As at December we had a total asset base of over $23 billion and total equity of over $2.7billion. We have won various industry awards and continue to work towards excellence on Uganda,” he said. The Chinese community in Uganda has a strong footing in the oil and construction business. Independent analysts estimate that close to 70% of the road infrastructure in Uganda is being constructed by Chinese firms.
In light of the recent bank-related incidents in Uganda Dodoo, stressed that Ecobank is financially healthy and believes that there is great business potential in the country.
Dodoo said, “Ecobank is here to stay. This is why we have chosen to partner with the Chinese community in Uganda, who are key players in the economic transformation of Africa.”
Togo-based Ecobank began operations in Uganda at the beginning of 2009 as a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals
According to latest figures, Chinese exports to Uganda were about $700 million in 2015 while China bought goods worth just over $50 million. Uganda has had diplomatic relations with China since 1962.