Eastern Europe gets US$11b Chinese funding
CHINA has announced a 10 billion euros (US$11 billion) investment fund aimed at drumming up business between the Asian giant and central and eastern Europe.
The move came as Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met 16 counterparts from across central and eastern Europe in Lativa’s capital Riga at a weekend summit focused mainly on developing trade.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported that the new China-Central and East European fund will be run by the Sino-CEEF Holdings Ltd.
The company formally launched in Riga by the Chinese prime minister is owned by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country’s biggest lender.
Xinhua quoted Sino-CEEF Holding chief Jiang Jianqing as saying that the investment fund was expected to reach 10 billion euros.
He added that it would focus on developing infrastructure, hightech manufacturing and mass consumption industries in the region, including EU and eurozone members.
“China has signed MoUs (memoranda of understanding) with Poland and the Czech Republic on making financial contributions” to the fund, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told counterparts in Riga.
Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis said that his country had decided to participate in the fund, though no details on the size of contributions were given.
The fund is part of Beijing’s much vaunted efforts of establishing land and sea links for European trade, known as the “Belt and Road” policy. Chinese activity in central and eastern Europe is rooted in the “16+1 Forum” for cooperation between 16 ex-communist eastern European states and China.
At the time, Beijing vowed to commit a total of $10.5 billion in credit lines and funds to boost economic ties with the region, but analysts say the capital injections have been slow to materialise. –