Standard Chartered Bank to play key role in second phase of CPEC

Standard Chartered Bank to play key role in second phase of CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Standard Charter Bank (SCB) on Wednesday announced to key role in the second phase of mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and it will provide different kinds of services including solutions to the Chinese currency RMB, hedging in RMB, currency risks and cash management.

"After successfully completion of first phase of CPEC where most of the fundings in projects were based on Government to Government of the two countries, the second phase is now ready in which mainly private sector and financial institutions will will be involved specially in services, and insurance areas," said Head of Global Banking, SCB, Jean Lu while addressing a press briefing here today.

She said Pakistan had been a special partner of China for decades and with the launch of CPEC, the bilateral relations had further strengthened.

She informed that experts from Standard Chartered’s Greater China Region hosted road shows in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan to outline the benefits of and investment opportunities from China’s B&R initiative, together with Renminbi internationalization.

The purpose of these roadshows was to enable our clients to take advantage of the benefits presented by China-led Belt & Road initiative (B&R), which is also bringing more cooperation opportunities for Pakistan and China, she added.

The B&R initiative, the biggest support to globalization in the world today, is aiming to boost trade and investment growth across Asia, extending to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

She said total trade between China and B&R countries exceeded USD 3 trillion between 2014 and 2016, and the momentum has continued in 2017 despite subdued growth in global trade.

The B&R initiative has made significant headway in the past four years, and has gained support from more than 100 countries and international organizations, and more than 80 of them have signed cooperation agreements with China, she added.

Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan said that the Bank was currently engaged with around 100 Chinese companies who were interested to invest in various sectors of Pakistan.

He said with the passage of time the trade volume will increase between the two countries and in this regard the SCB will have a key role in providing RMB solutions to the investors as they will be able to trade in their own currencies instead of USD.

He said “The Belt and Road Initiative will benefit all countries along the routes, contributing to global economic and social development".

Many countries, like Pakistan, he said have robust demand for infrastructures, as they move toward further industrialization, move up the value chain, as well as absorb fast-growing populations.

He infomred that the Bank has been in Pakistan and China for more than 150 years.

"Our longstanding and deep-rooted presence in both countries along with 70 percent of footprint overlap with B&R countries equips us with in-depth knowledge of prevailing political, economic and cultural environments making us an indispensable partner in this extra ordinary progress," he added.

"It is therefore incumbent upon us to assist our valued clients to capitalize on these enormous trade opportunities created through better connectivity between them and the rest of the world. This roadshow emphasize our promise to be ‘Here for good, while demonstrating our capabilities in providing comprehensive set of products, services and solutions to our existing as well as prospective clients who are looking to embark upon their growth journeys along the Silk Road”, he added.