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European Investment Bank pledges support for Belt and Road plan

By Fu Jing in Brussels | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-16 22:03

The European Investment Bank pledged to support the Belt and Road Initiative by exploring financing opportunities for its individual infrastructure projects, the bank's head said on Tuesday.

"The European Investment Bank recognize the potential of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote economic growth and strengthen international cooperation," said Jean-Christophe Laloux, director-general of the European Investment Bank in a news release.

Laloux said the strengthened cooperation between China and the European Investment Bank will "enable increased dialogue and examination of individual infrastructure projects located in Asia, Europe and Africa and covered by the initiative."

Laloux made the announcement after the two-day Belt and Road Initiative Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing endedon Monday in Beijing, where his bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese government.

The Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the New Development Bank and the World Bank also participated in the forum and signed MoU with China.

Laloux said the European Investment Bank looked forward to sharing its financial, technical and environmental experiences gained in 160 economies worldwide to support the Belt and Road Initiative

The European Union was represented at the forum by Jyrki Katainen, vice-president of the European Commission,who said the EU has been working with China on the Belt and Road Initiative since President Xi Jinping's visit to the EU headquarters in March 2014.

"China is at one end of the ‘Belt and Road' – Europe is at the other," said Katainen at the leaders' round-table discussion in Beijing on Monday. "Done the right way, more investment in cross-border links could unleash huge growth potential with benefits for us all."

Apart from other suggestions, the vice-president also urged multilateral banks to play a proper role in turning the initiative into reality.

"We must use the wisdom of the multilateral banks, whose decades of experience makes them an invaluable partner for new institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," said Katainen.

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