NMB Bank yesterday bid farewell to 10 Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) customers who are set to embark on a nine-day business trip to Guangzhou, China sponsored by the bank.
The SMEs while in China will visit various international trade Fairs including the famous Canton Fair held in China which exhibit various goods and materials, factories and market centers.
Speaking during the farewell event held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, NMB Head of Business Banking Alex Mgeni said the trip is part of the bank’s customer value proposition and will be a platform for the bank’s SMEs customers to network with a wider international audience.
“We as NMB bank understand the integral role that the SME sector plays towards developing our economy. It is for this reason that we felt it important to arrange this business trip for our customers that will provide them with business linkages to suppliers of goods and services” said Mgeni.
Mgeni during the event re-affirmed the bank’s commitment to continue supporting the growth of the SME sector, which is a catalyst for job creation and development across the country.
“We believe this trip will be a unique opportunity to our SME customers to and will help find valuable linkages to enhance their businesses and create meaningful partnerships that will help to expand their businesses as they interact with experts in different fields” Mgeni added.
Mgeni said the bank has in the past been sponsoring various international exposure programs for its SME customers before the COVID-19 outbreak adding that the bank last year sponsored 10 SMEs to Turkey.
“This year we expect to send a total of 25 businessmen. We are starting with these 10 today. We expect to send more 15 SME customers in October,” he said.
Mgeni during the event said the bank partnered with the Embassy of Tanzania in China in organizing the tour.
“We are happy to connect with our customers today in line with our close to you philosophy. Today is the third time since we started an exercise like this. Most of the SMEs travelling to China are from the building and constructions, spare parts and cosmetics,” he said.
He added that the SMEs customers will have the opportunity to learn a lot because China is one of the countries that have developed a lot in all those fields using technology.
“We expect that these SMEs will learn various methods and techniques to produce efficiently whilst increasing productivity in their businesses,” he said.
During the event, Editha Kassim, an entrepreneur from Tanga who is among the beneficiaries of the China tour commended NMB bank for supporting growth of the SME sector across the country.
“I started engaging with NMB in 2012 after opening an account with a very small amount. I was able to borrow and buy a sewing machine at a cost of 140,000/-. I managed to secure a loan to further my business and now I own more than 20 modern sewing machines and I provide employment to young people,” he said.
She added, “In this trip to China, I hope to learn more especially in terms of new technologies that will help increase my business output and efficiency,”
Editha noted that upon returning to the country, she hopes to share the experience got with fellow SMEs in Tanga region who have not had the opportunity and thanked the bank for continuing to commit to developing small businesses.