Chinese banks can enter Cooks’ crowded market

Thursday October 24, 2019 Written by Published in Economy

Chinese lending welcomed, but business owners should beware of any strings attached. 


Cook Islands has signed an agreement to allow Chinese banks to operate in the country.

The agreement was reached at the China-Pacific Islands Countries Programme of Action on Economic Development and Cooperation in Apia, Samoa this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown attended the meeting along with leaders from nine other Pacific island countries where they held talks with China’s Vice Premier Hu Chunhua.

In one of the 30 agreements they reached with China, Brown and other Pacific leaders agreed on cooperation on finance.

The agreement stated subject to the law and regulations of each country, they support Chinese-owned banks in operating financial business and innovative financial products in the Pacific island countries, and vice versa.

Fletcher Melvin, the president of Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce, said Chinese banks that met industry regulations should be welcomed here.

However, Melvin noted any new bank would be subject to market forces in the country: The country already has four banks: Bank of the Cook Islands, Bank South Pacific, ANZ and Capital Security Bank.

“All the banks that wants to operate here, they have to be regulated by the Financial Supervisory Commission,” Melvin said.

“They have to follow stringent rules. The Chamber has no problem with competition in the industry as long as the regulators are doing due diligence with it.”

The introduction of new banks could be good for people, especially businesses, seeking financial assistance or investment.

However Melvin said they should be wary of “cheaper finances” that could come with higher risks.


  • Comment Link I like Chinese In China Thursday, 09 July 2020 00:23 posted by I like Chinese In China

    What the!... Mark Brown

  • Comment Link Moeroa Ofisa Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:42 posted by Moeroa Ofisa

    Rarotonga belongs to the people not mark brown who is this guy where did he come from and in my days Rarotonga was a place to be free not for sale and if wasn’t for New Zealand we are not free because New Zealand is the one that help Rarotonga out not the China and for this guy to say that China can come to Rarotonga man he must be a joke for the Rarotonga people right now some of the people in Rarotonga and we don’t need more banks in Rarotonga and we don’t need China money for this guy to say jump so do some of the cook island people jump to or what he say man for the government of cook island they don’t care for the cook island people they just want the money not thinking of the people in the island right now how so sad to sold the cook to the Chinese so so sad my home the cook island home off the free ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Comment Link Rui Yin Tuesday, 29 October 2019 23:24 posted by Rui Yin

    I'm a Chinese who lived here with my beautiful Rarotongan partner! Love this beautiful island. Just a friendly reminder for the CI government: Of the people, by the people and for the people. Please make sure you think for the lovely 17, 379 people first before you achieve your political goal.

  • Comment Link Can’t believe the cook island government would even consider letting Chinese banks open in Rarotonga  do they want them to take over and destroy their beautiful country Sunday, 27 October 2019 14:19 posted by Can’t believe the cook island government would even consider letting Chinese banks open in Rarotonga do they want them to take over and destroy their beautiful country


  • Comment Link Bruce Gordon Thursday, 24 October 2019 23:01 posted by Bruce Gordon

    Our beloved Cook Islands, you just sold your soul to the devil.

    Gone will be your heritage, culture and values, but more so, your visitors will be coming from China, NOT NZ and Australia, your fishery is already at risk, and Rarotonga and the other Islands will be filled with Asian visitors, and properties and businesses will be staffed by chinese immigrants under a deal that will be done to ensure your current immigration policies will be changed to enable China through the gates by the thousands..

    So sad!

  • Comment Link Miriam Thursday, 24 October 2019 13:05 posted by Miriam

    Why would you Mark Brown would want more than 3 banks on a small island. One would think you would be opening up can of worms? Is a legacy more important than the people.

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