19 Chinese groups to invest in Pakistan

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KARACHI: The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has assured its full support to Pakistan for economic development. Nineteen major Chinese groups will serve in all various projects in energy, infrastructure development, trade and commerce, the ICBC said. ICBC Group’s Senior Executive Vice President Zheng Wanchun and other officials met State Bank’s Deputy Governor Saeed Ahmad on Thursday. The group has 17,245 branches in China and 329 institutions in 40 countries. It is conducting its business in Pakistan through its branches since August 2011 in Karachi and Islamabad. Its sales and service centre is located in Lahore.

Mr Zheng apprised the deputy governor that 19 major Chinese groups will be involved in the projects. “All these group companies are clients of ICBC in China,” said Mr Zheng.

“It will be natural for these companies to have business relationship with ICBC Pakistan, and this will boost ICBC Pakistan’s operations,” said Mr. Zheng. He apprised the deputy governor of his meetings with the Planning Commission officials and other authorities in Islamabad.

Mr. Zheng reiterated the group’s commitment to Pakistan and discussed the ways in which ICBC could be a partner for Pakistan, especially in sectors of national importance, such as energy, telecommunications and infrastructure.

Acknowledging the consistent support of China in diverse areas, the deputy governor said that cooperation in the banking sector was natural outcome and reflects the friendship of the two countries.

Ahmad said: “We value ICBC’s presence and operations in Pakistan.”

Zheng elaborated strategic vision of ICBC for its Pakistan operations and appreciated Pakistan’s continued support for the first and the only Chinese bank in Pakistan.

The theme of the discussion also traversed on mega projects, like largest nuclear power plant in Karachi with Chinese assistance and award of 4G licence to Chinese-based cellular giant Zong.

“Economic corridor between China and Pakistan ending at Gwadar is expected to have substantial impact with industrial estates being established alongside,” said Mr Ahmad.

The move will benefit Pakistan all the way north to south and provide opportunities in a number of industries.

The deputy governor also anticipated a great deal of employment prospects for skilled and non-skilled workforce along the corridor.