AMSTERDAM - The world's largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), opened a branch in the Dutch capital on Thursday.
"This shows our confidence in the future economic and trade development between China and Europe, especially between China and the Netherlands," ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing said.
ICBC claims to be the most profitable bank in the world. It already has subsidiaries in Frankfurt, Luxembourg and London and is now establishing offices in Paris, Brussels, Milan, Madrid and Amsterdam.
The Chinese banking giant will provide financial services such as credit granting and investment banking for Chinese and European clients. The new European branch will focus on trade financing between Chinese and European companies.
"Even though the European economy and the euro are recently running up against problems, Europe is still one of the major political and economic entities in the world," Jiang said.
Hans Hoogervorst, head of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, said the opening of the Amsterdam office is very important to his country.
He said the Netherlands and China enjoy very close trade ties, so the opening of the branch will facilitate businesses between the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Zhang Jun said China and the Netherlands have been keeping longstanding economic and trade cooperation, and among all the European Union countries, the Netherlands has become China's second largest trade partner and third largest investor.
ICBC has about 3.6 million business clients. Its global service is supported through operations in 28 countries and regions with 203 branches in total. Outside China, the bank employs 4,700 local staff.