On November 27, 2012 (Peru time), ICBC celebrated the opening of ICBC (Peru) Company Limited ("ICBC Peru") Branch in an inauguration ceremony held in Lima, the capital of the Republic of Peru, signaling the establishment of the first Chinese commercial bank in Peru. ICBC Peru is the first wholly-owned branch of ICBC opened in South America, which further completes ICBC's global presence and improves its ability to serve customers around the world. Among the guests at the inauguration ceremony were ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing, the Central Reserve Bank of Peru Governor Julio Velardo Flores and Chinese Ambassador to Peru Huang Minhui.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing said Peru has witnessed robust economic growth over the past few years. With a GDP growth of 6.92% in 2011, Peru is now one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. Since China and Peru established diplomatic relationship more than 40 years ago, bilateral trade between the two countries has gained momentum with closer exchanges in different areas, thus raising higher requirements for the banks of Peru and China working together. The ICBC Peru will act as a bridge for trade and investment, as well as a new platform for financial exchanges and cooperation between China and Peru, offering a full spectrum of excellent financial services to corporate clients and personal customers from the two countries.
Peru, the seventh-largest economy in South America, is located on South America's Central Pacific Coast. The main driving force behind Peru's good investment climate is the country's geographical advantage and rich resources. China and Peru are complementary to each other in economy, marked by the closer trade and economic ties during the past few years. China-Peru bilateral trades have been growing fast since the China-Peru Free Trade Agreement signed in 2010. The bilateral trade volume in 2011 reached USD 13.33 billion, up 26.44% year-on-year. China overtook USA to become Peru's largest export market and trade partner, and is also the second largest supplier of goods to Peru. Peru has emerged as a key investment destination for Chinese companies. As of the end of 2011, China has over USD 2.5 billion investments in Peru's different sectors, such as energy, machinery and construction.
ICBC is the largest commercial bank in China, as well as the world's largest listed bank by market capitalization, customer deposit and brand value. ICBC provides a wide range of financial products and services to 4.37 million corporate clients and 292 million individual customers worldwide through 17,000 outlets in and outside China and a global network of more than 1,600 correspondent banks and its Internet Banking, Telephone Banking and Self-service Banking. ICBC takes a leading position in domestic market in most of the commercial banking businesses. ICBC has escalated its global footprint to cope with the globalization of customers and markets during the past few years. By the end of September, 2012, ICBC has set up a global network of 270 overseas branches spreading 35 countries and territories. This global service platform, together with a presence in Africa through holding 20% stake of the Standard Bank of South Africa, covers all the major international financial centers and China's trading regions with well-defined hierarchy, reasonable positioning, diversified channels and efficient operation. ICBC leverages its IT strength to incorporate business processing, risk management and information sharing under one global platform for all overseas branches, serving customers worldwide with the best-quality services. Through consistent improvement on management and technology, a mechanism has been in place for global product offering, covering retail banking, bank card, electronic banking, fund clearing, special finance, cash management, investment banking, asset management, trade finance,etc.
ICBC Peru will officially open to business once receiving the banking license from Superintendencia de Banca y Seguros.