12 Inside BUSINESS Thursday, March 1 2018 | NEW ERA OPINION Digitally integrating Africa’s higher risk trade transaction ecosystem into a global economy returning to growth offers Africa a unique opportunity to drive inclusive and sustainable development. Standard Bank’s achievements in leveraging digitization to support African trade is built upon a unique understanding of the broader landscape of challenge and risk that presented by trade to transform African growth. With broad-based growth expected across 120 world economies this year, 2018 is currently presenting potential for a globally synchronized expected to occur across both mature economies such as the United States, Germany and Japan - as well as emerging economies such as Mexico, Brazil, India and China. Africa is no exception. The African Development Bank (AfDB), for instance, is predicting the average growth rate across 54 African markets to reach 4.1% in 2018. This represents a 30-basis point increase over 2017’s estimated average growth rate. Following a decade of low growth and poor commodity prices, optimism - and some green shoots - are emerging on the continent. From Nigeria to Mozambique, Ghana and Zambia, improved commodity prices are combining with new global growth opportunities to drive positive emerging market sentiment. At the same time political stability appears to be returning to Kenya and other leading African economies. Even growth-challenged South Africa is currently experiencing a bout of optimism as political events point to the prospect of improved policy certainty. In short, if the risks of doing business in and with Africa can be managed, and global growth and some of the consumption variables turn favourable for the continent, this generalised return to growth in 2018 are strong. In a globally generalised growth environment Africa’s demand for This means that 2018 is likely to see Africa’s bank-intermediated trade the AfDB’s estimation of a c. USD 100m shortfall. Given these numbers, using digitisation to increase trade will be essential if Africa is to – quickly leverage the full potential of this historically unique instance of synchronised global growth. In particular, access to trade finance remains a challenge for Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). ing able to support the rapid expansion of intra-African trade remains critical to both growth as well as social and political stability. heavily paper-based and siloed both within and between nations. For a while now African governments have been encouraging digitisation as a way of boosting domestic and global trade in markets that lack traditional domestic and cross-border trade infrastructure. For example, the tea industry in Kenya has adopted a platform that brings buyers and sellers together. Other similar digital platforms in Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania provide services to businesses in the bulk oil importation space. What is immediately obvious is that Africa is being transformed by digitisation on three levels, namely; through the digitisation of the physi- also via the documents chain. Standard Bank has been most directly supply chain for some time now. For example, the bank has worked with regulators supporting price discovery and risk management in the tea industry in Kenya. Standard Bank has also been working hard to digitise the documents chains, including proof of concept tests using blockchain to digitize bills of lading, for example. Developing digital solutions that simplify and broaden access to trade ments in key markets is a strategic focus for the bank over the next 12 to 18 months. Supporting trade in Africa also means working with clients to manage multiple categories of risk, including; counterparty credit risk, country risk, FX risk and operational risk. A key element in this is helping clients match responses to real rather than perceived risk - by partnering contingent and asset risk distribution services, for example. Standard Bank provides support and strategic guidance to regional organisations working to reduce trade barriers, speed up the clearing and release of goods, increase the predictability of landing costs, and support compliance – so as to minimise the disruption and costs of legitimate trade. Leading examples include Standard Bank’s work with the Tripartite Free Trade Area which is working to promote a Cape-to- Cairo regional economic block. Developing the digital platforms for organisations of this nature to accomplish their work on the continent is a key area in which banks can support the expansion of trade in and between African markets. In short, through collaboration and partnership across Africa, Standard Bank is developing the digital tools tiveness of intra-African trade. This process will reduce the costs and promote the expansion of trade while and amongst African countries - and between Africa and a world economy returning to growth. *Vinod Madhavan is Group Head of Trade for Standard Bank Group. ELJOTA INVESTMENT MANAGERS PRESENTS NAMIBIA INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2018 TheEljotaInvestmentSummit2018isthefirstof itskindanduniqueInvestmentSummitfocusing ontheNamibianmarketandtargetedtowardsIn vestors,PensionFundTrustees,Finance Professionals,AssetManagersand anyother personinterestedinuntappingand leveragingopportunities in Namibia. Acollaborativeeventbykeyplayersinthelocal financialsectordeliveringcuttingedgeviews andresearchbyNamibianandregionalexperts. 6 March 2018 NIPAM Programme: GLOBAL, SOUTH AFRICAN AND NAMIBIAN ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2018: An outlook of the global financial markets with special focus on Namibia. 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Thursday, March 1 2018| NEW ERA 13 BMW 3 Series now to be an import Staff Reporter South Africa would no longer produce the BMW 3 Series, and all new 3-Series would be imports, most likely from Thailand. South Africa’s Rosslyn plant would now be turned into the production plant for the new BMW X3. While this might be good for BMW on production costs, it is likely to translate into extra costs of the car for all future BMW 3 Series fans in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa. This is because cars not assembled in South Africa have always carried an extra dollar on their price tags when sold within the common market area of the Southern Africa Customs Unions (SACU) member states. BMW did not address the price aspect when they announced the discontinuation of the 3 Series production. Perhaps, though the Rosslyn plant would be remembered for giving BMW fan club the ‘Gusheshe’, ‘The Dolphin’ and the ‘G-String,’ all three different models that still elicit smirk smiles from BMW die-hard fans, young and old. And it all starts with the ‘Gusheshe’, second generation BMW 3 Series that until today is an epitome of what a car should be for drifters. ‘Gusheshe’, which is loosely translated to mean ‘to go fast’ or ‘disappear in an instant’, was produced from 1983 to 1992, with a new design, optimised aerodynamics, more space and comfort, extra power and additional body and engine variants were all part of the mix. The new car’s lines were than those of its predecessor, and its by almost 15 per cent. All model variants, regardless of engine size, headlights as standard. Although the second-generation 3 Series offered four centimetres of extra legroom inside, its body was actually three centimetres shorter than the previous model. The front indicator lights were relocated from the wing tip into the bumper. The most sought after engine was the 333i and the 325iS, which were exclusive to the roads within the SACU member countries. This was followed by the “The Dolphin” in 1990 with extremely elegant contours and a thoroughly overhauled spread of technology. The car was available from launch in terms of exterior dimensions to create an even more comfortable and safer passenger compartment, and it offered occupants noticeably more space. Then came the “G-String” BMW 3 Series in 1998. The name came from the design of its steering wheel, its proportions, lines and stylistic elements represented an expression of sporting elegance and left no doubt that the BMW 3 Series had established itself once and for all as the unmistakable From now on BMW 3 Series Sedan would only be manufactured at BMW Group Plants in Munich, Regensburg, Araquari in Brazil, Chennai in India, Rayong in Thailand and Mexico. It is also produced at the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) Joint Venture in China as well as partner plants in Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt. The BMW’s Rosslyn plant would now be turned into the production plant for the new BMW X3, which will be sold locally and exported to Europe. At total of N,2 billion was pumped into the Rosslyn manufacturing facility to enhance production line speed. “We look back with great pride over an extraordinary career path of the production of the five generations of the BMW 3 Series at Plant Rosslyn. Over the years, the development of our production and export programme has been the catalyst for our sustainable growth and contribution to the South African economy. With the imminent production of the new BMW X3, we remain a committed and engaged corporate citizen dedicated to the upliftment of South Africa and its people,” says Tim (CEO) of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. “Plant Rosslyn is an important part of the BMW Group’s international production network. The success story of BMW Group South Africa continues,” said Hülsenberg.