NEW DELHI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- India has called on China to expand banking links between the two countries and to enhance licensing procedures, to create "a more conducive environment" for companies operating in each other's country, reported local daily The Hindu online Tuesday.
Indian Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on Tuesday while opening the State Bank of India's (SBI) second branch in China, that "foreign bank licensing policy is gradual in China, and all these banks are at various stages of establishing their operations".
"It is hoped that other Indian banks that have fulfilled conditions set for foreign banks in mainland China also graduate to opening branch operations at an early date," he said.
SBI is the only Indian bank which has opened branches in China other than Beijing. It opened its first branch in Shanghai in 2006. The bank's Shanghai branch was allowed to start operations in the local Renminbi (RMB) currency in 2010.
"The success achieved at the Shanghai branch has encouraged us to strengthen our presence in China by upgrading our representative office in Tianjin to a branch,"SBI Managing Director Hemant Contractor was quoted as saying.
The bank works with around 90 Indian companies who trade with China and around 200 Chinese companies.
The Tianjin branch, which will open with an operating capital of 300 million RMB and does not yet have the approval to work in RMB, will focus on assisting "small and medium companies" located in northern China and "try to facilitate bilateral trade finance", according to Contractor.
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