The Bank of China became the first mainland bank to commercially operate in Taiwan with the opening of its Taipei branch.
"The Taipei branch opening marks a major step in the Bank of China's development as well as a milestone in deepening economic and financial cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan," Li Lihui, president of the Bank of China, told the audience at the opening ceremony in downtown Taipei.
The event was also attended by Wu Poh-hisung, honorary chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang, Chiang Pin-kun, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation.
Li said the Bank of China will follow the rules of both the mainland and Taiwan and contribute more to cross-Strait economic and financial cooperation through its corporate banking, personal banking and other services.
Services available at the branch are mainly those associated with corporate finance.
As the first mainland bank to establish cooperative relations with Taiwanese banks and offer services to Taiwanese business people, the Bank of China has entered into business cooperation agreements with 10 Taiwanese banks and established corresponding banking relationships with 29 Taiwanese banks, according to Li.
The banking chief said the total credit that the Bank of China has offered to Taiwan-funded companies over the past three years is worth more than 160 billion yuan (around 25 billion U.S. dollars), and the bank plans to arrange 200 billion yuan more in credit to support the development of Taiwan-funded companies over the next three years.
Li stated that the Taipei branch will play a great role in currency renminbi clearing business in the future when a cross-Strait currency clearing mechanism is available, which, he said, will benefit those Taiwanese enterprises with mainland interests.
The mainland's Bank of Communications, whose branch opening application has been approved by Taiwan authorities, has yet to officially open its branch in Taipei. The mainland has so far approved the application of 10 Taiwanese banks to set up on the mainland, of which at least eight have already opened the branches.
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