Speech by Consul General Shi Weiqiang at the Opening Ceremony of ICBC Melbourne Branch

11 November 2012, Melbourne

The Hon. Mr. Ted Baillieu, Premier of Victoria,

Madame Wang Lili, Vice President of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening.

It is my great pleasure to join you here to celebrate the opening of ICBC Melbourne Branch. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate-General in Melbourne, I'd like to extend my warm congratulations to vice president Wang and all ICBC staff, and pay my tribute to all the friends who have devoted for years to promote China-Australia relations.

As the world's largest listed bank in terms of market capitalization, ICBC keeps expanding internationally. Melbourne branch is the third one after Sydney and Perth in Australia. The opening today well illuminates its rapid growth world-wide and its strategic foresight.

As you know, there is a Chinese saying: one needs three basic elements for success, a good time, a good location and a good relationship. In my view, the opening of ICBC is just a good practice of this saying.

Firstly, 2012 is a good time. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations. Over the past 40 years, the bilateral relations have witnessed remarkable progress. The bilateral trade volume has increased 1000-fold, and two-way investment registered a fast growth. The economic integration between two countries has laid a solid foundation for the development of bilateral financial industries.

A few weeks ago, Australian government launched its whitepaper Australia in the Asian Century, setting a roadmap to secure stronger linkage with Asian countries in the coming decade. I believe this will help increase deeper and wider engagement between China and Australia, and create a more favorable climate for bilateral trade and investment.

Secondly, Victoria is a right place to do business. Victoria has a strong, flexible economy, enjoying 3A credit ratings from both Standard & Poor's and Moody's for successive ten years. With only 3% of Australia's land, Victoria contributes a quarter of the nation's economic output. Melbourne is not only a most livable city, but also a financial center in the world: more than 1000 financial services, as well as 40 banks, are based here. From now on, ICBC is one of them.


More importantly, Victorian government attaches great importance to deepening relationship with China. In September this year, the Victoria-China Engagement Strategy was launched; Premier Baillieu led Super Trade Mission to China and achieved fruitful outcomes, including the opening of ICBC Melbourne branch. Just as Premier himself elaborates, Victoria has "led the way when it comes to China." The China-Victoria relationship has been a vital part of China-Australia relationship.  

Thirdly, a harmonious human relationship is key to success. ICBC is a bank with rich and inclusive corporate culture, adhering to such values as integrity, humanity, prudence, innovation, and excellence. These will help its branches gain local supports. By fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, ICBC is trying to balance the growth of corporation, social benefit and environmental protection. Since the opening of its Sydney branch in 2008, ICBC has placed great emphasis on multicultural development, fostering harmonious relations with clients and local communities. I hope Melbourne branch can continue to follow ICBC's tradition, complying with local laws and regulations, improving product quality and services, protecting legal rights of employees, contributing to local economy and social welfare. Only by doing so, can a foreign company gain support and respect from local communities, hence realize sustainable development in a globalized world.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

To conclude my remarks, I would like to say, ICBC is choosing a right time, a right place to do a right thing. I wish ICBC Melbourne branch a prosperous development, wish you all good health and happiness.

Thank you.

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