China to launch top private bank in Pakistan


BEIJING – Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is going to open a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the top private bank of China, during his visit to Pakistan, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday.
The ICBC is the world’s biggest bank by capitalization. Li Xiguang, a professor at the Tsinghua University in Beijing said that the trade between Pakistan and China will be worth $7 billion with an annual growth rate of 29 percent by the end of this year.
The growth rate of trade between the two countries is expected to grow by over 30 percent over the next five years and the trade volume could increase to $18 billion. But the level of economic cooperation does not reflect the close and lasting political and military ties between the two countries.
Ambassador Massood Khan said that China has a very positive image in Pakistan. “We support China’s policy on Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights,” he said. “But we also need to have an all-weather highway between our two countries,” he said.


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