Bank of China opens in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain inaugurated the launch of Bank of China’s operations in Pakistan at a ceremony in Islamabad on Tuesday.

“China has emerged as a major investor and partner for Pakistan with great prospects of materialising the possibilities of development in both countries,” he said on the occasion.

“The launch of Bank of China is a memorable event in the everlasting friendship between Pakistan and China,” he added. In context of the business environment in Pakistan, the president said the opening indicated that the benefits of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would soon start reaching the masses.

He added that Pakistan was a natural hub for regional trade activities because of its location at the crossroads of Central Asia, West Asia and Middle East, while CPEC had further increased its importance.

The president assured Bank of China that the government and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would continuously support it in expanding its operations in Pakistan.

Bank of China Chairman Chen Siqing said it was a great honour to launch operations in Pakistan, adding that its Karachi branch was the first in South Asia. He said Bank of China would strengthen brotherly relations between the two countries in the realms of the financial sector as well.

Siqing said China’s progressive and fast-paced economy was ready to enter into an era of high-grade standards and emphasized that Bank of China could help Pakistan effectively reap the benefits of China’s economic prosperity.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa welcomed the launch of the bank in Pakistan and said increased diversity of foreign banks would increase the country’s economic resilience. He said future prospects of Pakistan and China’s economic sector was bright.

He added that Pakistan could learn from the expertise of Bank of China in Small and Medium Enterprises sector. Acting Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Zhao Lijian, said Pakistan’s economy was picking up quickly and the opening of the Bank of China marked the confidence of Chinese corporate sector in Pakistan’s economic situation.