East­ern Europe gets US$11b Chi­nese fund­ing

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

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. –

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