KARACHI – Standard Chartered announced the launch of the Standard Chartered Belt & Road Relay, the first-ever global running event spanning the Belt and Road initiative, with the aim of highlighting the Bank’s continued commitment to Belt and Road, and the positive impact of the initiative to communities and businesses globally.
The Relay will be led by eight staff athletes from Standard Chartered, selected from the Bank’s diverse footprint in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe and the Americas. These athletes will participate in running events across 44 Belt and Road markets within a 90-day period.
Commenting on the launch, Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, said, “The Belt and Road Initiative is the most ambitious and far-reaching project of its kind in the world today. We are present in two-thirds of Belt and Road markets, and our rich heritage, deep local knowledge and unparalleled connectivity mean that we’re ideally placed to help our partners, clients and communities to make the most out of the initiative. By traversing these markets on foot and engaging local clients, governments, media and communities, our Standard Chartered Belt & Road Relay athletes will showcase our commitment to be the One Bank for the Belt and Road.”
The Standard Chartered Belt & Road Relay kicked off in Hong Kong on 17 February, in conjunction with the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, which is one of the biggest sports events in the city with over 74,000 runners, and will end in China on 11 May after the Belt and Road Forum.
Shazad Dada, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan commented, “We are very proud to host the Belt & Road Relay in Pakistan. The Bank has been in Pakistan and China for more than 150 years. Our longstanding and deep-rooted presence in both countries along with 70 per cent of footprint overlap with B&R countries equips us with in-depth knowledge of prevailing political, economic and cultural environments making us an indispensable partner in this extra ordinary progress. It is therefore incumbent upon us to assist our valued clients to capitalize on these enormous trade opportunities created through better connectivity between them and the rest of the world.
This Belt & Road Relay emphasises our promise to be ‘Here for good’, while demonstrating our capabilities in providing comprehensive set of products, services and solutions to our existing as well as prospective clients who are looking to embark upon their growth journeys along the Silk Road.”
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project of China’s ‘One belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative which will connect Western China to Gwadar Port in Arabian Sea – forming a network of road, rail links to boost trade. Involves variety of energy & infrastructure projects worth $62billion. Standard Chartered has already secured a few major mandates for onshore & offshore banking relationships for these projects in Pakistan essentially providing all services including debt and equity proceeds, FX flows, working capital requirements.
The Belt and Road initiative is core to Standard Chartered. In 2017, the Bank committed additional financing for Belt and Road projects of at least USD 20 billion by 2020, and was involved in more than 50 Belt and Road deals worth more than USD 10billion across a range of products and services.