China's largest commercial bank, The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) yesterday announced the launch of its operations here from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). This is the second institution launched by ICBC in the Middle East, following the establishment of ICBC (Middle East) in Dubai. At the QFC, ICBC Doha (QFC Branch) has been authorised to conduct the financial services listed under Category One, which covers a wide range of financial services including deposit-taking, arranging and providing credit facilities, dealing, managing, advising on and arranging deals in investments and arranging the provision of custody services among other services.
In recent years, Qatar and China have witnessed great development in cooperation in economy, trade, energy and other fields, thereby strengthening bilateral ties between both economies. In 2007, bilateral trade hit $1.21bn, up by 21 percent year-on-year. At the end of last year, the turnover of project contracting and labour cooperation completed by China in Qatar reached $930m.
Jiang Jianqing, ICBC Chairman, said the branch will join hands with ICBC (Middle East) to fully utilise the advantages of their geographical location, scope of business and clients and provide them with long-term, high-quality financial services. They will jointly promote ICBC's development in the Middle East and enhance its regional and global competitiveness. ICBC has a solid client base, advanced IT platform and diversified products; and maintains a leading position in all its major business areas in China. After listing on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges in 2006, its management expertise and profitability have witnessed a sharp increase.
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