ADB, Bank of China explore Microfinance, SMEs among areas for collaboration

Microfinance Focus, July 14, 2010: After a series of discussion at its headquarters last Friday, ADB (Asian Development Bank) and a visiting delegation from Bank of China (BoC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have agreed to explore a broad range of fresh opportunities for collaboration, including in the areas of regional trade finance, clean energy and infrastructure development, microfinance and institutional capacity building.

As a strategic investor, ADB has conducted five technical assistance projects for BoC since 2006, covering corporate governance, environmental safeguards, anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, and operational risk management. It has also provided training under ADB’s Trade Finance Facilitation Program for BoC staff. ADB is currently the fifth largest shareholder of BoC and will remain a long-term strategic investor.

“ADB and BoC foresee several opportunities for enhanced collaboration in important areas over coming years with priorities including climate change and low-carbon development, infrastructure investment, regional trade finance, small- and medium-enterprise (SME) financing, microfinance, joint research and knowledge sharing, and corporate governance and risk management improvement,” said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

BoC is the largest trade financing bank in PRC, and ADB is looking to expand its Trade Finance Facilitation Program with support from BoC to reduce costs and risks, and increase trade among ADB’s developing member countries. The two institutions will also explore cofinancing of infrastructure projects for developing countries, and potential opportunities for promoting the development of public-private partnerships, small- and medium-enterprise financing, climate change finance, microfinance, and the use of credit guarantees.

 “All these initiatives show that there is huge potential and enormous opportunity for our future business and infrastructure cooperation,” said Mr. Zhou, BoC’s Executive Vice President. BoC is one of the most international and diversified bank in China, providing a comprehensive range of financial services to customers across the Chinese mainland, Hongkong, Macau, and 29 overseas countries. As one of PRC’s four leading commercial banks, it is aiming to build itself into a world-class banking institution and in recent years, has strengthened efforts to promote energy-efficiency, emission reduction, environmental protection, green finance, SME finance, and microfinance.

BoC also plays a proactive role in facilitating sectoral restructuring, fulfilling social responsibility, promoting harmonized economic development and protecting the environment, in support of the government’s development strategies and industrial policies.

© 2010, Microfinance News. All rights reserved. 2008-09

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