Standard Bank has announced its trade index, the Standard Bank Africa Trade Barometer. Standard Bank has operations in 20 African nations, and it wants the Africa Trade Barometer to be the leading trade index. It will initially focus on 10 African countries, which are:
- South Africa
What Is in the Data?
The Africa Trade Barometer will be published as a report twice every year. It will take into account factors like trade openness, access to finance, macroeconomic stability, infrastructure, foreign trade, governance, economy, and trade finance behavior.
Standard Bank will collect qualitative and quantitative data from 2,400 businesses. The businesses will represent small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large family businesses, corporates, and multinationals across all the above economies. Standard Bank, in partnership with third-party sources, including the World Bank, International Trade Centre (ITC), and Central Banks, will analyze and augment the data.
What Is the Purpose of the Index?
Standard Bank believes that the Africa Trade Barometer will give users a comprehensive view of trade on the ground and become a valuable resource to business people, students, governments, non-governmental organizations, and investors.
Africa has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As the world recovers from the Covid-19 economic crisis, the continent offers exciting prospects for investors. The pandemic is forcing economies worldwide to reconsider their supply chains and bring them closer to home. Developing local supply chains and linking with other African nations is thus essential for governments in the continent. They are under pressure to create jobs and develop communities. According to Standard Bank, some of the objectives of the report are to understand:
- Prospects for growth
- Business confidence for the next three years
- Local and international opportunities for the next year
- Business challenges over the next year
- Current performance
- Challenges and opportunities experienced as a result of the impact of the pandemic
- Regions in which trade occurs or geographic distribution of trade
- Which companies are involved in the Africa-China trade
- Support needed from government and financial institutions
The continent has also recently ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which offers new opportunities for small, medium, and larger domestic businesses.
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