On December 10, 2009 Vietnam local time, the Hanoi Branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank’ of China (“ICBC”) successfully obtained a Financial Services Operating Permit issued by the State Bank of Vietnam, and ICBC thereby formally enters the Vietnam market. This application was previously approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission. ~t is reported that this is the first time Vietnam has approved a mainland Chinese bank to establish a business office in Hanoi, its capital city. It is also the first foreign bank permit issued by the State Bank of Vietnam this year, which reflects the Vietnamese government and supervising authorities” recognition of ICBC’s overall strength. Meanwhile, the Hanoi Branch is the first branch established by ICBC in Vietnam, which further improves ICBC’s institutional presence in the ASEAN and fully exemplifies ICBC’s confidence in Vietnam’s future economic development.
China and Vietnam are interdependent and friendly neighbours. In recent years, trade between the two countries has maintained an excellent development trend, and the annual bilateral trade volume has accelerated to double digits. For five consecutive years China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner, and Vietnam is also an important trading partner of China within the ASEAN.
Meanwhile, the development of bilateral investment between China and Vietnam has also been extremely rapid. At the end of 2008, China had more than 711 investment projects in Vietnam, and its direct investment in Vietnam was approximately US$2.188 billion.
Vietnam’s rapid economic development and the increasingly close economic and investment relationship between China and Vietnam provide a good foundation for the development of Chinese commercial banks in Vietnam. After establishing the Hanoi Branch, ICBC will continue to uphold a scientific, strict business concept in which the customer comes first, and to actively enter Vietnam’s economic and financial circles. ICBC will, based on its strong customers, funds, networks, technologies and brand, actively participate in the construction of Vietnam’s local infrastructure such as communications, energy, telecommunications, etc., provide excellent and express financial services to corporate and individual customers, strive to become a bridge and a hub for economic and financial exchange between China and Vietnam, and playa larger role in serving economic and trade relations between China and Vietnam and promoting
Vietnam’s economic development. ICBC has in recent years consistently accelerated the pace of its internationalization, and continues to enhance its global services. By the end of September 2009, ICBC had business offices spread over 15 countries and regions of the world, with a total of 155 branches, had established agency relationships with 1,393 banks in 125 countries and regions, and had formed a global network for comprehensive services covering the five continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and Australia. Most of its overseas offices are able to engage not only in commercial banking services, but also in investment banking and other comprehensive financial services. Since 2007, ICBC has taken the lead among Chinese banks in the research, development and promotion of the overseas comprehensive operations processing system (FOVA), and has gradually established a globally unified technological platform that forms a concrete foundation for the healthy development of ICBC’s overseas business operations.