ICBC, Czech sign deal on Europe fund

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING—China’s largest lender by mar­ket value has signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the Czech gov­ern­ment to co­op­er­ate on a new fund to in­vest in Cen­tral and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China (ICBC) said Thurs­day it will spend 1 bil­lion eu­ros (1.1 bil­lion U.S. dol­lars) on es­tab­lish­ing a fi­nan­cial firm to launch the fund.

Czech will con­trib­ute 200 mil­lion eu­ros to the fund, which will in­vest in CEE coun­tries and other re­gions un­der the “Belt and Road” ini­tia­tive frame­work, ac­cord­ing to the ICBC.

The Czech gov­ern­ment will sup­port the fund’s op­er­a­tion in its coun­try and help iden­tify in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, the ICBC said.

The Belt and Road ini­tia­tive, pro­posed by China, is aimed at build­ing a trade and in­fra­struc­ture net­work con­nect­ing Asia with Europe and Africa along the an­cient trade routes.

ICBC will also set up a branch in the Czech cap­i­tal of Prague to fa­cil­i­tate Sino-Czech co­op­er­a­tion un­der the ini­tia­tive, the bank said.—Xin­hua

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