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Banks lured by ASEAN trade

(China Daily)

10:15, November 04, 2011

A booth of Guangxi Beibu Gulf Bank at 8th China ASEAN Expo . "Southeast Asian countries are the key areas where Chinese banks will strengthen their efforts to expand," said Guo Tianyong, director of the China Banking Research Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics. Provided to China Daily

NANNING - Seeing huge opportunities in international transaction settlement as trade surges between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chinese banks are stepping up efforts to expand into ASEAN markets to advance the internationalization of the yuan.

"We have seen fast growth in our international business, driven by robust market demand in the ASEAN region, and we intend to set up offices in Vietnam and Singapore in the near future," said Teng Chong, chairman of the board at Guangxi Beibu Gulf Bank Co Ltd (GBGB).

The establishment of the Beibu Gulf Economic Rim, the economic region surrounding China's southwestern coast, has resulted in the rapid development of cities in the region, especially Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

"At present, our main customers are traders from China and the ASEAN region. Given the soaring trade between China and ASEAN, our international payment business will grow 30 percent annually," Teng said.

Chinese customs data showed that Sino-ASEAN trade rose 26.4 percent in the first nine months of 2011 than the same period in 2010, to $267 billion. The bloc had a trade surplus of $18.9 billion.

China and ASEAN are aiming to boost their annual trade volume to $500 billion by 2015.

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