ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is expected to not only get a major breakthrough in textile exports to China, but also opening of first Pakistani bank’s branch is also on the cards.

A Pakistani delegation consisting of Secretary Ministry of Textiles Amir Khan Marwat and Director Kanwar Usman is on visit to China, and theses breakthroughs have been signaled by the Pakistani delegation.

The agenda of Pakistani delegation is to hold meetings with the Chinese government on free trade agreement between the two countries. Meetings related to the opening of first branch of any Pakistani bank are also included in the programme, where Pakistani officials would hold meetings with host government, to extend maximum facilitation to the Pakistani exporters after the opening of new bank.

We have received very encouraging reports from the delegation and hope some major breakthroughs in terms of textile exports to China, an official said.

He said that during meetings Chinese officials agreed that they would lower conditions related to standards of the export firms and some other conditions are also expected to be lowered.

According to officials there was no branch of any Pakistani bank in China, but after Chinese government lowered minimum equity conditions, now Habib Bank qualifies and expectedly, the bank would open its first branch in China soon.

The officials said that Pakistani delegation would help State Bank to identify, that how bank could facilitate Pakistani exporters.

When asked State Bank neither confirmed nor denied opening of Habib Bank branch in China.

Pakistan and China enjoy a multi-dimensional friendship that has passed the test of international vicissitudes. In terms of banking relations, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has three branches in Pakistan whereas Pak-China Investment Company is operating as a Development Finance Institution for the promotion of trade, investment and economic growth in Pakistan, said Abid Qamar, chief spokesman State Bank of Pakistan.

He further said presently Pakistani banks are present in China but no bank branch is yet opened.

“Pakistani banks have their presence in China as Representative Offices that include National Bank, Habib Bank, United Bank and Bank AL-Habib. However, no Pakistani bank branch is presently operating in China”, Qamar told.