Britain’s envoy to the Belt and Road Initiative has outlined how the United Kingdom plans to channel investment and expertise into the China-proposed major international economic development program.
Douglas Flint, appointed as the chancellor’s “city envoy” to the Belt and Road Initiative in December, said on March 14 that he and City Minister John Glen, who oversees Britain’s financial services sector, will soon hold the inaugural meeting of a body set up by the treasury to bring together infrastructure financing and market expertise for Belt and Road projects.
“The city minister and I will soon convene and co-chair the first meeting of the treasury’s Belt and Road Expert Board, which will call upon representatives from UK, Chinese and foreign headquartered institutions, and from within the city’s global talent pool,” Flint said at the China-Britain Business Council’s annual conference in London. “The board will be a forum designed to advocate to industry participants and public bodies in the UK, China and third countries,” he said.
Flint, who served as chairman of HSBC bank from 2010 to 2017, said the board will seek to better quantify Belt and Road capital flows and look to understand the value being created by UK companies, while providing expert insight into projects already underway.
He said it will be supported by a dedicated policy unit, called the Infrastructure Financing Exchange.
“The team tasked with implementing the recommendations that come from the expert group will do so in line with national interests and priorities,” Flint said. “We will act as a portal for UK commercial engagement throughout the Belt and Road projects.”
Large banks including Standard Chartered, Citigroup and HSBC are involved in projects linked to the Belt and Road Initiative.