Con­struc­tion bank adds Toronto site

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSCANADA - By LI NA in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­

China Con­struc­tion Bank (CCB) has opened a branch in Toronto, the lat­est step in the lender’s North Amer­i­can glob­al­iza­tion strat­egy.

The branch opened on Dec 5 with a cer­e­mony at­tended by Guo You, chair­man of the su­per­vi­sory board of CCB in Beijing; Joe Oliver, Canada’s Fi­nance min­is­ter; Vic­tor Oh, Cana­dian se­na­tor from On­tario; Fang Li, Chi­nese con­sul gen­eral to Toronto; Yu Ben­lin, min­is­ter coun­selor of the Chi­nese em­bassy; and more than 200 lo­cal guests.

“Canada is an im­por­tant tar­get mar­ket for CCB to ex­pand its over­seas business and the vi­sion of CCB Toronto be­gan in 2009,” said Guo in his key­note ad­dress.

“CCB hopes to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity in the Cana­dian mar­ket, pro­vide qual­ity and ef­fi­cient fi­nan­cial ser­vices for both Chi­nese and Cana­dian cus­tomers, and make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion for fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion and trade ex­change be­tween China and Canada.”

CCB re­ceived of­fi­cial ap­proval from Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties to open the branch on Oct 29. CCB is the first Chi­nese bank to es­tab­lish a branch un­der Canada’s for­eign bank branch­ing regime, and the sec­ond CCB branch op­er­a­tion in North Amer­ica after New York.

China is Canada’s sec­ond­largest sin­gle-coun­try trad­ing part­ner after the United State, .with two-way bi­lat­eral mer­chan­dise trade be­tween the coun­tries to­tal­ing $73.2 bil­lion in 2013, up 38 per cent over the past five years.

For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment be­tween Canada and China in­creased more than sev­en­fold be­tween 2005 and 2013, to a to­tal of $21.5 bil­lion. Cana­dian di­rect in­vest­ment in China stood at $4.9 bil­lion at the end of 2013, almost six times as much as a decade ear­lier.

“The con­tin­ued and on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries will strengthen trade and fi­nan­cial ser­vices, which will al­low for growth and ex­pan­sion of CCB Toronto,” Guo said.

In his re­marks at the open­ing cer­e­mony, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Oliver hailed the eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship be­tween Canada and China, say­ing it has never been stronger.

“And China Con­struc­tion Bank is open­ing a Toronto branch at a time when Canada has never been stronger — the eco­nomic envy of the post-re­ces­sion world.

“By fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade and in­vest­ment, this bank will help our two na­tions thrive, by cre­at­ing jobs, growth and long-term pros­per­ity.”

Dur­ing Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper’s third of­fi­cial visit to China on Nov 9, the two na­tions is­sued a state­ment that Canada will es­tab­lish North Amer­ica’s first RMB or yuan trad­ing cen­ter in Toronto. They also signed a 200-bil­lion yuan ($32.67 bil­lion) bi­lat­eral cur­rency swap agree­ment.

The yuan clear­ing bank would be the first in the Amer­i­cas, and al­low Cana­dian fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to use it to process pay­ments for their cus­tomers in yuan.

The move is in line with Beijing’s am­bi­tion to pro­mote its cur­rency to more in­ter­na­tional in­vestors. China also will give Cana­dian in­vestors the right to invest up to 50 bil­lion yuan ini­tially in China’s cap­i­tal mar­kets.

“Toronto branch will op­er­ate in a pru­dent and com­pli­ant way, and build an en­tity with stan­dard man­age­ment, first­class ser­vice and out­stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion, pro­vid­ing se­cured, con­ve­nient, high-qual­ity and high-ef­fi­ciency fi­nan­cial ser­vices for its Chi­nese and Cana­dian clients,” said Sun Nian­bei, the gen­eral man­ager of CCB Toronto Branch.

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