Standard Chartered Bank and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) establishing a strategic partnership to explore the joint development of business opportunities.

Under the MoU, Standard Chartered and ABC will explore collaboration opportunities across a wide spectrum of retail and wholesale banking products and services both within China and internationally.

The partnership will focus on intra-Asia and Asia-Africa trade corridors and enabling access for Chinese businesses to international capital markets and financial markets products, whilst also looking at joint opportunities across ABC’s and Standard Chartered’s domestic Chinese market operations.

Hong Kong has been identified as a potential pilot region for the two banks’ co-operation journey.

A joint co-operation committee will be formed by both banks to drive the strategic direction of the partnership. The committee will be co-chaired by Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered, and Zhang Yun, president of ABC.

John Peace, chairman of Standard Chartered, said: “Standard Chartered and ABC will work closely together to enable Chinese businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the growing international trade corridors with China. The formation of the proposed senior management committee to drive our mutual strategic priorities is an indication of the importance and commitment which both organizations place on this partnership.”

Xiang Junbo, chairman of ABC, said: “The signing of the MoU signifies a new chapter in the co-operation of the two banks. Not only will we strengthen and improve the scope and areas of co-operation, but we will also be able to mutually benefit from the complementary advantages of the two organizations and contribute to the further development of the global financial industry.”