Pakistan’s Habib Bank has opened a branch in China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uygur, an autonomous Region’s capital of Urumqi which is the starting point of the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The branch was inaugurated at the ongoing China-Eurasia Expo making it the first foreign bank from a country on the Silk Road Economic Belt to establish a branch in China. CPEC links Xinjiang with Gwadar port in Balochistan province through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) with road, rail and pipeline links.
Nauman Kramat Dar, Habib Bank’s chief executive officer said that Xinjiang’s development will surpass that of China’s other regions in the next five years and it was the best time to build a branch in the region.
Being an important area in Central Asia and South Asia, Urumqi has obvious geographical advantages and it will allow Habib Bank to participate more in the development of Xinjiang, Pakistan and Central Asia.
Habib Bank also signed a $500 million cooperation deal with China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation at the expo.
Established in 1947, Habib Bank is Pakistan’s biggest commercial bank, accounting for more than 40 % of the country’s bank market.