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City of London opens talks with banks on Belt and Road investment

By Cecily Liu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-02 00:52

The City of London has started talks with multinational development banks about joining the Belt and Road Investor Alliance, a platform established to encourage further green investment into the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The alliance, led by the City of London, was launched in China in September with support from the Chinese and British governments.

It aims to develop a uniform set of standards to help member organizations invest in projects, and develop voluntary guidelines for Belt and Road projects to better manage their environmental risks and making the projects more attractive to investors.

Sherry Madera, special adviser for Asia at the City of London Corporation, told a news conference on Wednesday that her team is in talks to sign up several development banks to the Alliance. These new members could be unveiled as early as the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue later this year, she said.

"We are keen to broaden the alliance membership, and involve multinational development banks from all over the world to most effectively come up with strategies of unlocking financing into environmentally friendly projects along the Belt and Road," Madera said.

Green finance has become popular among investors seeking long-term stability, because certified green infrastructure and energy projects adhere to stricter future climate-friendly regulations, and therefore reduce climate policy risks for investors.

China is already a leader in green finance.

The country issued $36 billion of green bonds in 2016, which was almost 40 percent of the $81 billion of green bonds issued globally.

The City of London is also working with the People's Bank of China to harmonize green bond standards in China with those abroad, so that green bonds issued in China will become more attractive for international investors.

This work builds on a similar initiative developed by the People's Bank of China and the European Investment Bank earlier this year to harmonize green definitions across markets.

Green bonds in China currently account for 2 percent of the total bonds issued, which is substantially higher than the global figure of 0.2 percent.

The UK and China's leadership in developing green finance markets is important in accelerating green capital market integrations, according to Michael Sheren, a senior adviser to the Bank of England.

It will help both the developed as well as the emerging markets in tackling common challenges, he said.

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