ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank has launched its first branch in China. The Shanghai branch was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The initiative marks a significant milestone for the Bank's international operations. In March 2003, ICICI Bank had set-up a representative office in Shanghai to develop strong relationships with Chinese banks and corporates for their India linked banking needs.

The representative office has been upgraded to a branch keeping in mind the rising trade volumes between India and China. With this branch, the Bank aims to provide greater support to Chinese and Indian corporates in their cross-border business interests.

Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, "Our branch in Shanghai will allow us to play a greater role in the growing trade and investment opportunity between India and China. We foresee a heightened amount of bilateral activity taking place between the two countries in the near future. With the opening of this branch, ICICI Bank is strategically poised to take advantage of the increased opportunities."

The Shanghai Branch received regulatory approval in March 2015 to commence operations. It will begin with 17 banking professionals spread across different functions including corporate banking, operations, finance and treasury.

The new branch will engage in banking activities permitted under the guidelines of the China Banking Regulatory and will also facilitate international trade between China and other countries, support of Chinese Corporates / EPC contractors bidding for infrastructure, business expansion of Indian joint ventures and subsidiaries of Indian entities in China, and remittances from China to India.

ICICI Bank's international footprint consists of subsidiaries in United Kingdom and Canada, branches in the US, China, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Dubai, international Finance Centre; and representative offices in United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Bank's UK subsidiary has established branches in Belgium and Germany.