Mr. Jie ZHUANG (Bank of Communications Luxembourg): Dedicated to banking service excellence
Jie ZHUANG, Chairman of the board of Bank of Communications (Luxembourg) S.A. and General Manager of Bank of Communications Luxembourg Branch, describes the central role Luxembourg plays in bank industry and specifically in the group’s strategy in the Grand-Duchy.
Can you describe your bank’s activities in Luxembourg in a few words?
Bank of Communications (Luxembourg) SA and Bank of Communications Luxembourg Branch (BoCom Luxembourg) are dedicated to providing top-notch banking services to facilitate the economic and trading ties between Europe and China. BoCom Luxembourg’s current offering of products and services includes corporate finance, trade finance, deposit-taking and treasury activities . BoCom Luxembourg’s clients are based in the member states of the EU as well as the rest of the world. In the meantime, BoCom also serves as a management hub to expand BoCom Group’s institutional network in EU member states. BoCom Luxembourg SA has already set up two branches in continental Europe – one in Paris, France and another in Rome, Italy.
"We serve excellent banking services to clients in European countries as well as the rest of the world"
Could you name a transaction that you recently did that illustrates how Luxembourg is now integrated in your global strategy?
Luxembourg plays a central role for the Bank in its global strategy and is an important pillar for BoCom Luxembourg in Europe. Not only does the Luxembourg subsidiary act as bridgehead for activities in Rome and Paris, but BoCom Luxembourg actively participates in European syndicated loans through its Luxembourg-based corporate banking team. Out of Luxembourg the Bank offers other European clients corporate loans and deposits and specialized financings such as acquisitions and asset financing. A recent example of such a transaction is the Bank’s participation in a acquisition financing with a total value of EUR 3 billion in Eastern Europe, where the Bank helped a European fund to purchase the Eastern European assets of a global telecommunications company.
What is your advice for Chinese people who have just arrived Luxembourg?
Try to be truly integrated into Luxembourg, both profession-wise and culture-wise. A nation with one of the world’s highest per capita incomes and GDP, Luxembourg can boast of its leading position as one of the world’s top financial hubs as well as its small, yet diversified population and culture. A Chinese person may find differences in his or her professional experience and living environment, for instance, the language, legal environment, business practice, administrative procedures, food and diets and the way of thinking. That said, it is very important for a new comer to Luxembourg to adapt to the local environment by learning some local language (e.g. French or Germany or even Luxembourgish) and gaining more knowledge of legal and business conventions in Luxembourg and the EU. They should also make friends within the local community, respecting local cultures and rules and regulations, of course. Luxembourg is a friendly and comprehensive nation. Integration by new comers will make a difference for the good.
What do you advise people going to China to do first?
Tip 1: To find a reliable guide (for travelling purpose) and/or a partner (for business purpose). Considering Chinese language – Mandarin – is so different from any western languages such as English, French, Spanish, travelling with a Chinese speaker will make the trip for foreigners much easier.
Tip 2: To be prepared for the astonishing contrast between localities in China, between developed regions and underdeveloped ones. One needs to be aware China, as a single nation, has twice as many people as Europe in almost the same size of territory. Differences could be prominent among Chinese localities, ethnic groups, industries, communities. Travelers ought to bear in mind not to be biased in their view of China.