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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Bank of China (BoC) will play its due role not only in the economic development of Pakistan, but also in strengthening bilateral trade and banking relationships.

Addressing a celebration ceremony organised by the BoC on Friday, Mr Shah appreciated the Chinese bank for successful launching of its operations in Pakistan.

He said Pakistan is a significant country in South Asia as well as the sixth-most populous country in the world. As early as 1942, BoC had opened up the southwest international channel, and established branches in Pakistan which remained operational till 1970.

Mr Shah recalled that in 2013, President of The Peoples Republic of China, Xi Jinping launched the One-Belt One-Road (OBOR) initiative. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship project of this initiative,” he said and added this project includes substantial cooperation and has huge untapped potential.

He said as BoC is a key partner in OBOR we expect that it will be able to effectively cater to the financing needs of CPEC projects by leveraging its specialised services and expertise.

BoC opened its first branch in Karachi on Nov 7.

“Opening of BoC branch in Pakistan marked the confidence of Chinese corporate sector in Pakistan’s economic situation,” he hoped.

The chief minister said that the future of China and Pakistan’s economic cooperation is very bright; more so in the wake of sustained improvement in Pakistan’s GDP growth resulting in growing investor confidence. “Monetary easing, stable prices, better availability of energy, and improved law and order conditions have created an enabling macroeconomic environment,” he said.

Mr Shah said the Government of Pakistan is taking utmost responsibility to ensure the protection, safety and provide a favourable work environment to Chinese enterprises. “We will actively serve Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan, help the implementation of projects in the CPEC, and fully support the economic development of Pakistan,” he observed.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa, Chen Xiaodong, Counsel General (Acting), Consulate General of China Dr Li Tao, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of China Ltd Pakistan Operations also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2017