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Bank of China has formally launched its operations in Pakistan, with its first branch inaugurated in Karachi on Tuesday.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Islamabad, Bank of China Chairman Chen Siqing said it was “a great honor” for the bank to be launching in Pakistan, observing that the Karachi branch was its first in South Asia.

He said the bank would strengthen the “brotherly relations” between the two countries in the financial sector.

Siqing said China’s progressive and fast-paced economy was ready to enter an era of high-grade standards, and emphasized that the Bank of China could help Pakistan effectively reap the benefits of China’s economic prosperity.

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa welcomed the bank to Pakistan, saying that the increased diversity of foreign banks would increase the country’s economic resilience. He also expressed hopes that Pakistan would learn from the Bank of China’s expertise in the small and medium enterprises sector.

Addressing the ceremony, Acting Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan said Pakistan’s economy was “picking up quickly” and that the opening of the Bank of China “marked the confidence of the Chinese corporate sector in Pakistan’s economic situation.”

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