Bank of China, one of the Asian country’s biggest state-owned banks, marked its entry into the Saudi Arabian market with the opening of a branch this week.

The commercial bank kicked off operations in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Tuesday, about two years since obtaining the approval from Saudi authorities.

Bank of China’s entry is part of a strategy to boost the use of yuan in trade and finance and underscores improved cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia. It comes just less than a year after the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Saudi last December.

The bank’s Saudi outlet employs more than 20 personnel, with a majority hired locally, a source told the South China Morning Post.

Last year, the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement that includes deals on several areas, including hydrogen energy, Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)