>@Richard Willis/EIB

Europe’s long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank, formally agreed to support China’s Belt and Road initiative, at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation opened by President Xi Jinping.

“The European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, recognises the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote economic growth and strengthen international cooperation. We appreciate the tremendous efforts of all involved and recognise the clear the leadership that China has shown to develop this key initiative. Cooperation and shared experience is crucial to ensure maximum impact of infrastructure projects of this scale and the European Investment Bank looks forward to sharing our unique financial, technical and environmental experience gained across Europe and around the world to support the Belt and Road initiative.” confirmed Jean-Christophe Laloux, Director-General of the European Investment Bank.

The strengthened cooperation between China and the European Investment Bank to support the Belt and Road Initiative will enable increased dialogue and examination of individual infrastructure projects located in Asia, Europe and Africa and covered by the initiative.

It is expected that the agreement between China and six multilateral development banks will enable greater investment in infrastructure crucial for cross border trade, and contribute to strengthening growth, development and prosperity across three continents.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by representatives of the Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the New Development Bank, the World Bank, and the European Investment Bank.

Reflecting the European Investment Bank’s experience gained across 160 countries worldwide it is expected that projects supported under the Belt and Road initiative will include support for both sustainable and inclusive investment across a range of sectors and that schemes are strengthened through open competition.

The European Investment Bank has financed projects in China since 1995 and last year the European Investment Bank Group provided EUR 84 billion to finance new investment around the world, including EUR 19.6 billion for climate related investment.