BEIJING: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of the leading Chinese banks, began operations in Pakistan on Friday with the opening of two branches in the country.
“At this very moment, when we are meeting, the ICBC is opening its two branches in Pakistan”, Senior Vice President of ICBC Ms. Wang Lili told Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here on Friday.
Prime Minister Gilani during his separate meetings with the Senior Vice President of ICBC Ms. Wang Lili and Chairman of the Orient Group of China Zhang Hongwei, urged the major Chinese banking and industrial giants to help Pakistan achieve increased industrial development through investment and financing of mega projects.
They discussed with Prime Minister Gilani the potential as well as the prospects of enhanced investment in Pakistan’s infrastructure, energy and telecom sectors.
The Prime Minister appreciated the personal contributions of the Senior Vice President of ICBC and the Chairman of Orient Group for strengthening of Pakistan-China friendship and promotion of economic cooperation.
The Prime Minister hoped that ICBC will continue to play a major role in promoting investments and joint ventures in Pakistan involving Chinese corporations and companies.
Gilani said the ICBC can finance projects in Pakistan’s energy, manufacturing and telecom sectors.
The Vice President of ICBC said even before the opening of our bank branches in Pakistan, the ICBC had business correspondence with 17 banks in Pakistan including the National Bank of Pakistan and HBL Bank.
She assured the Prime Minister that ICBC will continue to play its due role for the promotion of trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and China.
Chairman Orient Group Zhang Hongwei told the Prime Minister that their group, which at present has an investment of around 750 million US dollars in Pakistan, intends to invest in Pakistan’s oil and gas sector to help the country meet its energy needs.
The Prime Minister appreciated the performance of Orient Group and said it was a role model for other Chinese private companies. He also invited the Orient Group to increase their investments in Pakistan.
He said despite various challenges, Pakistan has maintained a steady economic growth and offered investment-friendly policies as well as the major tax incentives to the foreign investors.
The Prime Minister assured that the government will facilitate foreign investors including the Orient Group by all means.