On the occasion of the third anniversary of China-Panama diplomatic ties on June 12, Panama time, the General Administration of the Bank of Panama formally issued the banking license to ICBC, agreeing on ICBC’s establishment of Panama Branch, the first Chinese bank in Panama since China and Panama established diplomatic relations. Before then, ICBC’s applications have been approved by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC). The establishment of ICBC Panama Branch will further improve ICBC’s network layout and enhance ICBC’s cross-border financial service capacity in Latin America.
Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, a regional financial center and a key shipment passageway connecting North and South America, as well as an important hub for trade between China and other countries in America. Since the formal establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Panama in 2017, the bilateral economic and trade relations have developed rapidly. Data shows that, the trade volume between China and Panama exceeded USD8.3 billion in 2019, up nearly 20% year on year. The newly established ICBC Panama Branch will, relying on ICBC’s global layout and diversified business advantages, play the role as a bridge in economic, trade and investment cooperation between China and Panama, providing high-quality cross-border financial services to facilitate economic and trade exchanges between two countries, and helping both sides expand and further cooperation.
So far, ICBC has expanded its global service network to 49 countries and regions, with branches covering six continents and major international financial centers around the world, and indirectly covering 20 African countries through equity participation in Standard Bank Group. It is one of the Chinese banks with the widest global service network.