A cooperation agreement has been reached between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Silk Road Fund, established to implement China’s Belt and Road initiative, inspired by the ancient Silk Road connecting China and Europe.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today in Beijing, China, was a further step forward in the Bank’s cooperation with China which became the EBRD’s 67th shareholder on 15 January this year.
In the MoU, the Silk Road Fund and the EBRD agree to boost cooperation at an institutional level and to inform each other of any potential co-investment opportunities in their common regions of operations.
Phil Bennett, EBRD First Vice President, said at the signing: “Today’s Memorandum is a new step in an already close working relationship with the Silk Road Fund which we regard as a key partner in China and potentially in the EBRD countries of operations. Our regions have a funding gap of about US$ 400 billion a year for necessary infrastructure investments. A joint effort by all stakeholders is needed to bridge that gap and we see working with partners like the Silk Road Fund as the most efficient way forward.”
For the Silk Road Fund the MoU was signed by Wang Yanzhi, Board Member and President of the Fund, who said: “We are glad that our working relationship with the EBRD is signified with the signing of the Memorandum today. Stretching from central Asia to central and eastern Europe to northern Africa, the EBRD’s areas of operation cover many strategic nodes along the Belt and Road Initiative, and are important investment destinations for Chinese corporates. We look forward to seeing the two institutions co-finance important projects soon and together promote regional and global connectivity for common development.”
The Silk Road Fund is a development and investment fund dedicated to supporting infrastructure, resources and energy development, industrial capacity cooperation and financial cooperation in countries and regions involved in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative runs through Asia, Europe and Africa. It is aimed at promoting the orderly and free flow of economic factors; the highly efficient allocation of resources and deep integration of markets; encouraging the countries along the Belt and Road to achieve economic policy coordination and carry out broader and more in-depth regional cooperation of higher standards; and jointly creating an open, inclusive and balanced regional economic cooperation architecture that benefits all.