On Friday, 12 April 2019, Botswana will become the 30th market out of 44 along Standard Chartered Bank’s Belt & Road Relay. The first of its kind, the Belt & Road Relay is a 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 is being 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 are participating in running events across the 44 Belt and Road markets within a 90-day period. The Botswana leg of the relay, taking place in Phakalane, will be day 55 of 90 for the relay.
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.”
Speaking on the Botswana leg, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Chief Executive, Mpho Masupe said, “The Belt and Road initiative is an exciting opportunity for Batswana companies to be active participants in one of the most vibrant trade corridors of the modern age. We are proud to be able to draw on our international network providing access and expertise to Batswana in a way that only an international Bank like ours can.”
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 10 billion across a range of products and services.
The Standard Chartered Belt & Road Relay kicked off in Hong Kong on 17 February, and will end in China on 11 May after the Belt and Road Forum.