Montréal, May 29, 2015 – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Canada) (ICBK) announced the opening of its first Québec branch in Greater Montréal. On hand for the announcement made by Chairman of its parent bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (the Bank) Jiang Jianqing were Carlos Leitão, Québec’s Finance Minister; Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and Chairman of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal; Jiangping Zhao, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Montréal; Mingxuan Zhu, CEO and President of ICBK; Mario Albert, CEO of Finance Montréal; and Élie Farah, Vice President, Investment Greater Montréal, Montréal International.
The Bank’s expansion in Canada will help Chinese businesses tap into the Canadian market and will strengthen the trade relationship between the two countries. “As the only Chinese Central Bank designated RMB Clearing Bank in North America, we look forward to supporting Montréal’s local businesses and adding value to existing financial parties,” said the Bank’s Chairman Jiang Jianqing.
“ICBK’s decision to open a branch in Montréal shows that Québec and China have strong economic ties. This special relationship is a key asset for Québec businesses looking to enter the vast Asian market, and I am confident that it will only grow stronger with the arrival of such a major player. ICBK’s move also confirms Montréal’s status as a leading financial hub in North America and shows that Greater Montréal has a vibrant economy that draws the attention of top players. Congratulations to Montréal International and Finance Montréal, who did a wonderful job leading this project,” said Carlos Leitão, Québec’s Minister of Finance.
“ICBK’s arrival in Greater Montréal will reinforce our position on the international financial services market while strengthening our ties with the world’s largest economy. And the new direct flight between Montréal and Beijing, to be introduced on September 29, will play a role in that as well,” said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal.
A growing inflow of foreign investment from China
Montréal International, Greater Montréal’s investment promotion agency, supported ICBK throughout the entire process. “ICBK’s arrival in Greater Montréal is excellent news for the region’s economic growth, as it will help attract new Chinese investment and enable Québec businesses to have easier access to the Chinese market,” said Dominique Anglade, President and CEO of Montréal International. “Greater Montréal is focusing increasingly on Asia as a strategic destination for business opportunities, so it is essential that we bolster investments and trade between our two countries,” added Ms. Anglade.
A stable, competitive and reliable financial sector
According to Finance Montréal, Québec’s financial cluster, the arrival of a giant like Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shows that the region’s financial industry—which employs close to 100,000 workers in 3,000 companies—is built on a strong and stable foundation. “The Bank’s interest in Greater Montréal and Québec points to the region’s attractiveness as a financial centre and to our ability to forge solid relationships with foreign business communities. This project is key to growing Québec’s financial services industry and enhancing its international profile,” said Mario Albert, CEO of Finance Montréal.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest of the four Chinese state-owned commercial banks in terms of market capitalization, profitability and customer deposits, ahead of the Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank. ICBK, the Bank’s Canadian subsidiary already has nine branches in Canada.
About Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
In 2015, the Bank topped Forbes’ Global 2000 list of the world’s largest companies for the third consecutive year. Leveraging its extensive global network, it provides financial services to over 4.6 million businesses and 400 million clients in 42 countries and regions across the world.
About Montréal International
Montréal International (MI) acts as an economic driver for Greater Montréal to attract foreign wealth while accelerating the success of its partners and clients. Its role is to attract foreign investment, international organizations and skilled workers to Greater Montréal, and promote the region’s competitive environment. MI also works to find the best ways to position the region as an attractive investment destination, and make recommendations to various levels of government to support Québec’s job-creating, high-value-added industries.
Created in 1996, Montréal International is a non-profit organization funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (Montréal Metropolitan Community) and the City of Montréal.
About Finance Montréal
Finance Montréal, Québec’s financial cluster, was created in 2010 by members of the financial community at the suggestion of the Québec Government. The organization’s mission is to enhance Montréal’s international status as a strong, innovative world-class financial centre. Finance Montréal helps strengthen Québec’s financial industry by stimulating growth and supporting high-value-added financial activities that are key to its development. A non-profit organization that brings together 23 governing members, 14 associate members and close to 300 volunteer professionals, Finance Montréal fosters cooperation among industry players to advance the common interests of the industry while highlighting what Montréal’s financial sector has to offer.