As ICICI Bank opened its first branch in China, chief Chanda Kochhar mentioned that there is enough room for Chinese banks to enter into Indian banking sector and contribute to its growth. She pointed out that presently India’s growth is largely dependent on bank funding and there are no threats for the banking sector in India if Chinese banks enter.
Regarding further expansion in China, Kochhar said that it would depend upon the growth and the opportunities in the country. ICICI would focus on Indian corporate firms doing business in China and Chinese companies looking out to invest and trade in India and other regions where the bank is present. Also, the bank would cater to the needs of the Indian diaspora living in China.
The bank’s international strategy is focused on opportunities linked to India. ICICI had a representative office in China which it had opened in 2003. The new branch in Shanghai was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day visit to the country. In order to meet the trade finance requirements of Indian companies, ICICI has tie-ups with Chinese banks through correspondent banking relationships. Kochhar is hopeful that the branch presence will increase the bank’s participation in the increasing economic relations between the two neighboring countries. As per the guidelines of China banking Regulatory Commission, ICICI will conduct normal banking operations as well as support Chinese firms to bid for infrastructure projects in India. Other state-owned banks such as Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, SBI, and Canara Bank have already expanded their network in China.