“The Museumplein in Amsterdam is a top location for a bank,” said Zhang Weiwu, General Manager of the Amsterdam branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Europe. The renovated bank building formally opened in 2011. Since then, Weiwu has had responsibility for developing the bank’s market position as rapidly as possible in Northwest Europe.
“Our potential for growth here is huge,” continued Weiwu. “Increasing numbers of Chinese companies want to be nearer to their customers in the increasingly important European market. Amsterdam is an important gateway into continental Europe for China. We need to move with our customers and that’s why we have chosen to position ourselves at the heart of the rapidly increasing flows of trade between China and the Netherlands. This location suits us perfectly.”
Another reason ICBC chose Amsterdam is the stable political and economic business climate, coupled with the availability of sufficient English and Chinese-speaking people. “We want to grow quickly and steadily, and for that you need high-quality, internationally orientated people. On top of that, Amsterdam in particular is an attractive living environment for us as expats. There are also attractive tax benefits for foreign employees working temporarily in the Netherlands. Everywhere in the city, I come across evidence of the centuries-old connections between the Netherlands and my homeland. It feeds into a sense of familiarity.”