Chinese bank ICBC establishes Hanoi branch to serve bilateral trade: chairman

07:10, January 27, 2010      

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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) expects its Hanoi branch to be a financial bridge connecting businesses in China, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, said ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing here on Tuesday.

ICBC, the world's largest bank by market capitalization, started its business in Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi on Tuesday. It is the first foreign lender from the Chinese mainland to receive a banking permit in Vietnam in 14 years.

"The intensifying two-way economic and trade between Vietnam and China has called for the establishment of an ICBC branch in Vietnam, a fast-growing nation in Southeast Asia," said Jiang.

"Growing businesses demand a safe, convenient and clear channel for capital settlement and strong financial support," he said.

Chinese official statistics showed that China has been Vietnam' s largest trade partner for six consecutive years. Two-way trade exceeded 20 billion U.S. dollars last year. By the end of 2009, Chinese companies had invested an accumulative three billion U.S. dollars in Vietnam.

Jiang said ICBC appreciates Vietnam's huge economic potential and stable political environment. Vietnamese economy has been expanding at a fast pace of seven to eight percent in the past decade. In 2009, despite the negative impact from the global economy, Vietnam registered a growth rate of 5.3 percent, one of the fastest in the region.

Jiang said in the global expansion strategy of ICBC, the Chinese bank has attached great importance to the market of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The recently-established China-ASEAN Free Trade Area creates huge trade and investment potential for businesses and big opportunities for commercial banks, said Jiang.

ICBC has set up branches or extended business operation into five ASEAN countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, forging a strong service network, according to Jiang.

The aggregated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of these five countries account for more than 80 percent of the total economic output in ASEAN, said Jiang.

Jiang said ICBC Hanoi branch will be committed to supporting bilateral trade between Vietnam and China and making contribution to the development of Vietnamese economy.

Source: Xinhua
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