Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to start its operations in Pakistan soon

National emblem of the People's Republic of China

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China would start its operations in Pakistan soon by opening its branches in Karachi and Islamabad.

A meeting under Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on progress in China-Pakistan cooperation noted that ICBC coming to Pakistan in a big way besides other developments in this regard ranging from trade concessions and collaboration in the fields of agriculture, banking and finance.

According to an official handout, the meeting also deliberated upon the progress in the operationalisation and implementation of the agriculture related component under the Economic and Technical Cooperation.

Meanwhile the meeting also discussed the opening of Pakistan’s National Bank of Pakistan Branch in China under the prevalent procedure in the Chinese Banking laws.

Under the bilateral trade, China is to send more trade missions to Pakistan, and Pakistani traders to be given access and free space in trade exhibition in the cities of Kashghar, Urmuqi, Kensing and Chengdu. The Finance Minister asked the concerned officials to give a comprehensive report on the development in this regard.

Finance Minister Shaikh said that no inaction on the part of any line ministry shall be allowed in the implementation of the decisions agreed between Pakistan and China during the last visit of Chinese Premier to Pakistan.

Chinese delegation to the meeting was led by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian to review the progress in the implementation of the mechanism for the number of projects with Chinese technical and financial assistance.

In the post flood Reconstruction Programme, the Chinese Government has pledged to support Pakistan in the reconstruction of a number of projects which included the Grant for Highways and Agriculture, Transport, Energy and Communication, Establishment of China-Pakistan Agricultural Technology Zones, Upgradation of Karakarum Highway and Reallignment of Ataabad Lake, Disaster for Preparedness and Response System and Environment and Ecosystem.

The other subjects that the meeting discussed included Pakistan’s market access by considering grant of unilateral tariff concession to 228 Pakistani products, launch of second phase of the Pak-China Free Trade Agreement, in the first quarter of 2011, the Establishment of Pakistan China Entrepreneurs Forum, and exploring possibility of establishing trans-border economic zones.   It may be recalled that during last visit of the Chinese Premier to Pakistan, new air routes between Pakistan and China were also agreed to be opened. The meeting also deliberated upon on airport also. The youth exchange program was also brought under discussion whereby one hundred Chinese and Pakistani youth delegations to visit respective countries to enhance cultural cooperation between the two friendly countries.

Both the sides expressed their satisfaction over the pace of progress in the afore-mentioned projects and hoped that if there is any laxity from any quarter shall overcome with collaboration and coordination with the line ministries and corresponding agencies.

ONLINE – International News Network.

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