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Chinese Bank Opens 1st French Branch in Paris

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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) inaugurated its first French branch in Paris Tuesday.

At the ceremony, ICBC President Jiang Jianqing and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde jointly pressed a red button to symbolically launch the new subsidiary of the Chinese bank.

"France is very glad to welcome the biggest bank of the world, ICBC," Lagarde said during a gala diner organized in Brongniart Palace, the old Paris stock market.

According to Lagarde, the new investment from ICBC extended the existing financial cooperation between China and France, which was a recognition of Paris' financial position in the world and would benefit French employment.

Jiang said the great potential of commercial exchange between China and France, which exceeded US$40 billion in 2010, encouraged enterprises from both countries to augment their mutual investment.

"Internationalization is a basic strategy for ICBC, which is unshakable even during the economic crisis," he said in front of nearly 200 guests from China and France.

On Monday, the ICBC head announced in Luxembourg the establishments of five subsidiaries in Europe: in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan and Madrid.

The ICBC is the largest bank in the world by market capitalization. Its global services is supported through operations in 28 countries and regions with 203 branches in total. Outside China, the bank employs 4,700 local staff.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2011)


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