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South Korean banks eye opportunities in Liangjiang

Updated: 2015-08-12

By Ge Jieru,

Chongqing municipality's Liangjiang New Area has become somewhat of a hub for South Korean enterprises in recent years. To take advantage of financial development opportunities, a number of South Korean banks have likewise established themselves in the area.

With an increasing number of trade contacts between China and South Korea being signed, namely with Hyundai Motor and Hankook Tire, the time could not be better for South Korean banks to capitalize on the opportunity.

Among them is South Korea's second largest lender, Woori Bank, who recently opened a branch in Liangjiang. Following the trend was Shinhan Bank, which opened a branch in the area in July, adding to the development of the South Korean finance industry in the area. The bank recently released 5 million yuan ($750,000) loan to a local private chemical enterprise.

Kim Beom-seok, president of Worri Bank Chongqing Branch, explained that the reason for choosing Chongqing as the location of its new branch is that it is the core city of China's development in its western regions. Kim believes that more enterprises will enter Chongqing with the development of its economy and expects the demand of financial services to increase.

Kim also hoped that Woori Bank could strengthen its cooperation with local governments to better serve local enterprises and help pare their funding costs. Aside from regular business, Worri has the unique advantage of offering customers one-to-one financial services.

Statistics show South Korea is the fifth largest investor in Chongqing. According to the Chongqing Administration of Customs, the total volume of foreign trade between Chongqing and South Korea reached 46.05 billion yuan ($7.43 billion) in 2014, an increase of 290 percent compared to 2013. As a close trading partner of South Korea, Liangjiang accounts for almost 80 percent of the total foreign trade with South Korea in Chongqing municipality.

China and South Korea are currently jointly cooperating on the constructing of the China and South Korea Industrial Park within the Liangjiang New Area. When completed, it will be the only industrial park in China's inland area.

Edited by Jacob Hooson


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