VANCOUVER - It is one of the world's largest banks, with a client base 10 times Canada's population, and its first representative office in this country will open in Vancouver with a UBC alumnus at the helm.
In a ceremony at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Monday, Premier Christy Clark officially welcomed the award-winning Agricultural Bank of China to British Columbia and to Canada. Joining Premier Clark were Runlong Mao, Deputy Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver, and Chao Gong, Senior Vice-President of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC).
As outlined in "Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan", the government is building on the province's advantages - our sound fiscal fundamentals, diverse population and proximity to high-growth Asian economies - to attract international investment and open new markets. The Agricultural Bank of China's Canadian expansion was facilitated by British Columbia's International Trade and Investment Representatives. Located in nine offices around the world, including six in Asia, this network promotes British Columbia abroad and is a valuable resource for companies looking to invest in B.C. and spur domestic job growth.
ABC's first representative in Canada is Shi Hao, who 15 years ago was an international student at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Shi and Premier Clark met in person in Beijing last November during the Premier's Jobs and Trade Mission to China and India. Mr. Shi's story was subsequently included in the Ministry of Advanced Education's "International Education Strategy", and highlights how creating new relationships with students from other countries brings strong social and cultural benefits to our communities, as well as significant economic gains.
ABC, which last year had the largest Initial Public Offering ever with $22.1 billion raised, is ranked seventh among the Top 1,000 World Banks. The Vancouver location is its fifth overseas representative office, joining New York, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Sydney.
Premier Christy Clark -
"Our government is dedicated to fiscal discipline and the Agricultural Bank of China's commitment to British Columbia is a huge vote of confidence in our long-term stability. This province is known around the world as a safe harbour for international investment, a crucial part of our plan to defend and create jobs for B.C. families."
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell -
"With its close cultural connections to the Asia Pacific and multicultural workforce, British Columbia is becoming a hub of activity for the international banking and financial sector. The province has a triple-A credit rating and competitive taxes for job creators, making us a preferred destination for overseas investment."
Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto -
"For many international students who come to British Columbia, the personal, business and cultural ties they form while here continue to grow - even after they return home. Shi Hao is a wonderful example of the relationships that develop for international students and proves that attracting the best and brightest minds to our world-class educational institutions will strengthen our position in the global economy."
Shi Hao, Vancouver chief representative, Agricultural Bank of China -
"ABC has a strategic role in agricultural and resource development in China, and British Columbia's multicultural society and business-friendly environment will help us develop our business in Canada. As for myself, a UBC graduate, I am excited to have this opportunity to serve two great countries in Vancouver, the most beautiful city in the world."
- The Agricultural Bank of China has 350 million retail customers, 2.7 million corporate clients, and nearly 24,000 branches. It is China's third-largest lender by assets.
- ABC is ranked 19th on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world's leading public companies.
- Premier Clark met with Mr. Shi in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2011 at the Beijing Westin Chaoyang. Premier Clark sent a thank you letter encouraging Mr. Shi to work with B.C. government officials to advance the bank's expansion in Canada.
- Under "Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan", the government has committed to doubling its overseas presence. The province's international trade and investment representatives are stationed in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai in China and six other offices around the world.
- In May 2012, ABC received approval from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to set up its representative office in Vancouver.
- ABC is in the process of applying to the OSFI to be recognized as a Schedule III bank, with its Canadian head office in Vancouver.
To find out more about "Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan" visit www.BCJobsPlan.ca
To learn about the International Education Strategy, visit www.AvEd.gov.bc.ca
Details about the International Trade and Investment Representatives are available at www.BritishColumbia.ca
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation