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Boosting the Belt and Road Initiative

By Zhuan Ti | China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-27 08:13

A new round of high-level opening-up, as highlighted by the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, is opening a new chapter for China's economic growth.

In an effort to provide strong support to China's new wave of opening-up, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has been committed to boosting its onshore international business and overseas development.

ICBC has so far set up 127 branches in 18 out of 64 Belt and Road countries, and nearly 20 branches in the southeast, southwest, central and western regions of China along these routes. It claims more than 50 percent coverage, making it the Chinese commercial bank with the broadest network along the traditional trade routes.

ICBC has been deeply committed to domestic and overseas markets by supporting key Belt and Road projects, including landmark industrial projects involving railways, nuclear power and telecommunications.

Boosting the Belt and Road Initiative

Its regional development projects are focused along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Maritime Silk Road, the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Belt and on Middle East energy infrastructure.

By the end of June, ICBC had issued loans worth $62.1 billion to 239 projects invested by Chinese companies going global, with $22 billion of loans issued to 95 Belt and Road projects related to electricity, transportation, oil and gas, minerals, telecommunications, machinery, agriculture and other key sectors in 33 Asian, African and European countries.

The bank has also engaged with 211 promising key projects, with investments totaling $213.2 billion.

Based on close collaboration between its domestic and overseas institutions, as well as profound business integration, ICBC has steadily boosted global financial services development by expanding overseas financing in various forms.

These have included syndicated loan and financial leasing, and building global financing product lines with core competitiveness to gradually obtain leadership in the global financing market.

ICBC has also accelerated the growth of cross-border renminbi financing and trade financing by leveraging its strengths in cross-border renminbi business.

Meanwhile, ICBC has accelerated the vertical extension of high value-added product lines such as investment banking, financial markets, asset management, global cash management, asset custody, local market analysis and legal environment consultation to move up the value chain.

Through the horizontal linkage between financing and high value-added services, ICBC is one step closer to establishing a full-coverage, comprehensive commercial financial service system that meets increasingly globalized and diversified customer demands.

(China Daily 10/27/2016 page7)

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