One of China’s state-owned big-four banks, Bank of China, is opening a branch in Brunei, becoming the first Chinese financial institution to establish a presence in the sultanate.
The bank has been granted approval for its Brunei branch opening, which is part of its move to extend its network coverage to all ten countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In a statement, Bank of China described Brunei as one of the most important countries along the Belt and Road route that is politically stable and strategically located.
Dr Mustafa Izzuddin, a political scientist at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, told the Financial Times that China considers Brunei as an important country on ASEAN matters.
The arrival of Bank of China in Brunei does not only open another front for Chinese engagement in the region but also helps Brunei diversify, he added. News of Bank of China’s opening in Brunei follows a steady flow of Chinese investment into the country. – BusinessNewsAsia.com