China will continually develop equity investment to provide medium and long-term financing and mobilize more resources under the Belt and Road Initiative, Chen Yulu, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank, said on Nov 14.
In the meantime, financial institutions and enterprises should increase risk awareness and strengthen risk management, the deputy governor said in his speech at a forum.
The event, co-chaired by the PBOC and the London-based multilateral development bank the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was to promote investment in Central Asia along the Belt and Road Initiative routes.
“China is willing to strengthen cooperation with international financial institutions, developed countries, international financial centers and all other parties to enhance investment and financing support for Central Asia,” said Chen.
China has become a major trading partner and a major source country of foreign direct investment in Central Asia.
The PBOC has signed currency swap agreements with many central banks in Central Asia. The trading of renminbi against the Kazakh and Mongolian currencies has been launched in the regional interbank market.
So far, Chinese banks have financed over 100 projects in the region, covering mining, oil, gas and manufacturing industries.
“To mitigate risks in doing business (in the region), financial institutions should provide more tailored risk management products and services to the corporate sector and also manage their own risk exposure, strengthen the assessment of project, credit and country risks and control risks effectively through reasonable financing structure,” Chen said.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said that he expects BRI investment in infrastructure to boost growth in Central Asian countries and “provided BRI investments meet the highest standards, such progress will translate very quickly into real improvements in people’s lives and well-being.”
“Like investors everywhere, we are excited by the BRI’s emphasis on mobilizing private sector investment and the potential it has for raising the large sums of finance we need to meet the region’s infrastructure demands,” he said.
“Its success would bring with it huge progress for the countries along its route in terms of competitiveness, integration, inclusion and the greening of their economies,” according to the EBRD president. “BRI could, in my opinion, be a significant factor in helping the EBRD and the countries where we invest build the open market economies at the heart of our mandate.”
China became the EBRD’s 67th shareholder when it joined the bank in January 2016. By the end of last year, China has become the 11th largest country in co-financing with the EBRD. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has become the third largest institution to extend syndicated loans with the EBRD.
In the past decade, Chinese enterprises have won projects worth 500 million euros ($564.7 million) in the EBRD’s procurement tenders.