Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), said he has firm confidence in the resilience of the Chinese economy despite the COVID-19 outbreak and the bank remains unwavering in investing in China’s increasingly open capital markets.

“China is the global growth engine, although its economic growth may be impacted in the early part of this year, we expect it to recover back to normal level very quickly,” he said.

Winters lauded the measures by the Chinese government to fight against the virus, noting that it seems to be well under way and progressing in a very encouraging way.

He was impressed by China’s efforts to get the economy back at running, to get supply chains moving, and to minimise the disruption to supply market and the financial market more broadly.

With firm confidence in China’s economy, Winters emphasised SCB’s strong determination to continue to invest in China.

“We will continue to invest in the opening up of capital markets, invest in helping Chinese companies to expand internationally and helping bring international capital into China,” he said.

Meanwhile, Winters expressed his confidence in the resilience of SCB’s business in China under COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am very proud of my colleagues in Wuhan, Hubei province and the rest in China, who have done everything in their power to make sure the Standard Chartered Bank continues to operate in a smooth and seamless way, while dealing with tremendous adversity themselves,” said Winters.

Previously , Winters told Chinese media that China is a market “of strategic importance to Standard Chartered” and the bank plans to further expand its business in China “as an active participant” in the Belt & Road initiative (BRI), which was proposed by China in 2013 aimed at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.

The SCB, headquartered in Britain, has more than 160 years in business. It was among the first batch of foreign banks to be locally incorporated in China.

As a committed supporter for the BRI, which has become a bright spot in its business, the company’s BRI-related income reached 680 million U.S. dollars in 2018, up 16 percent year on year.