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ISLAMABAD: The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Karachi Branch proudly hosted the “RMB Clearing Bank Grand Opening Ceremony” in Islamabad, marking a significant milestone in China-Pakistan financial collaboration. The prime objective is to promote awareness and understanding within Pakistan’s banking and business sectors about crucial factors involved in utilizing the Chinese currency (RMB) in bilateral trade, enhance capital circulation quality, and foster seamless technology and talent exchange. Attended by distinguished guests, the ceremony showcased ICBC Pakistan’s pivotal role as the first RMB clearing bank in South Asia, strengthening the enduring friendship between China and Pakistan.

Established in May 2011, ICBC Karachi Branch operates as a leading foreign bank, designated as the RMB clearing bank by the People’s Bank of China. Dedicated to developing strong ties within the local community, the bank utilizes ICBC Group’s wide global network to offer comprehensive financial services. Through its extensive presence in 49 countries and regions, ICBC has become a global banking giant, promoting the worldwide growth of RMB business and enhancing trade and investment partnerships among collaborating nations.

The event, graced by Federal Minister of Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Jameel Ahmed, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Jiang Zaidong, Ambassador of Embassy of P.R.C. to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Zhang Weiwu, Vice President ICBC, and approximately 300 eminent representatives from the banking industry, corporate sectors and medias of both countries, received widespread acclaim. Li Bin, the Director-General of Macroprudential Policy Bureau from the People’s Bank of China delivered his insightful speech through video.

During the ceremony, Federal Finance Minister Pakistan Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmed, Jiang Zaidong, Ambassador of Embassy of PRC to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ICBC Vice President Zhang Weiwu and ICBC Karachi Branch CEO Zhou Bo, shared profound insights, affirmed the mutual benefits of trade through Chinese currency (RMB) for both nations. They emphasized the event’s historical significance in preventing financial risks, serving the high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and advancing the Belt and Road cooperation, as well as the groundbreaking potential of RMB in reshaping the future landscape of trade and banking between China and Pakistan.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by President Xi Jinping and also the 10th anniversary of the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The implementation of the Belt-and-Road Initiative and the rapid advancement of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have propelled bilateral economic and trade relations between China and Pakistan into new realms of collaboration. Consequently, the potential for the growth of RMB-related business in the Pakistani market is at an all-time high.

In addition to the ceremony, ICBC also inked strategic collaboration agreements, strengthening its commitment to fostering financial cooperation and innovation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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