Bank of China (BOC) (Hong Kong) opened its first branch in Brunei on Tuesday, marking a further important link between the Chinese and Bruneian economies.
With a history of over 100 years, the BOC is one of the most influential financial institutions in the world, with branches or representative offices located in 49 countries and regions globally after the opening of the Brunei branch.
At the opening ceremony of the branch in the sultanate's Empire Hotel and Country Club, Bruneian Minister of Home Affairs Haji Awang Abu Bakar said the start of the first Chinese financial institution in Brunei will "help Brunei to satisfy its demand for achieving Vision 2035, especially in serving Foreign Direct Investments, developing Small and Medium Enterprises and to promote bilateral economic and trade relations between Brunei and China."
Over the past decades, Chinese companies have come to invest in Brunei, boosting cooperation between the two nations. China is also one of Brunei's largest trading partners.
"The coming to Brunei of Bank of China marks a new stage of cooperation between China and Brunei," Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Yang Jian said in her speech.
"It is my firm belief that the Brunei Branch of Bank of China (Hong Kong) will provide high quality financial services to Bruneian enterprises as well as China's enterprises, serve the local society, and help further promote the economic and trade cooperation between China and Brunei," she added.
Xu Luode, executive vice president of BOC, also said at the ceremony that the opening of BOC Brunei branch is in compliance with the trend of deepening cooperation between China and Brunei, which will significantly promote bilateral economic, trade and financial cooperation.
Foreign direct investments have played a very important role in the Brunei's economy, bringing job opportunities and dynamism to the sultanate.