Bank of China boss calls for Belt and Road funding conduit
By JIANG XUEQING (China Daily)
Updated: 2017-01-26 14:19

Tian Guoli, chairman of Bank of China Ltd, the fourth-largest State-owned commercial lender, called for the building of "a financial artery" for the Belt and Road Initiative, to stimulate an economic liftoff in countries along the routes.

He highlighted the importance of "reinforcing cross-border cooperation to expand financial sources" for the implementation of the B&R Initiative. He also highlighted "introducing innovative financial tools to make transparent the B&R investment returns, building a more reliable hedging mechanism to diversify risks associated with B&R projects, and promoting the cross-border use of renminbi to open a new investment and financing channel", while attending the fourth Lamfalussy Lectures Conference in Budapest on Monday.

Proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas.

China has been steadily reinforcing its investment cooperation with relevant countries. During the past three years, Chinese enterprises invested more than $50 billion in B&R-related countries. Moreover, the new contract value of Chinese enterprises in 61 countries related to the initiative hit $279.26 billion, more than half of China's total new contract value over the same period.

Tian said commercial financial institutions should be mobilized to play their due role in cross-border cooperation to support B&R projects in trade finance, syndicated loans and project finance.

"Chinese and European financial institutions can conduct financing cooperation, by sharing information and jointly committing capital, to bring into play their respective strengths," he said.

The implementation of the initiative played an effective role in promoting economic development of B&R-related countries and regions. Compared with the average annual GDP growth of 1.7 percent for the G7 countries from 2014 to 2016, the growth of emerging markets in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa along the B&R routes was much higher, standing at 6.6 percent, 3.2 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

The initiative also boosted a thriving renminbi business in Europe. The Bank of China surveyed 3,000 clients around the world since 2013 on renminbi internationalization.

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