BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Belt and Road inter-bank regular cooperation (BRBR) Mechanism, initiated by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017, has witnessed the win-win cooperation and promoted the financial integration along the Belt and Road routes.
It is reported that as of the end of 2018, the BRBR Mechanism had boasted over 80 members from 45 countries and regions. ICBC and members of the BRBR Mechanism had cooperated to put in place more than 50 projects along the routes, with the amount of financing exceeding 40 billion U.S. dollars.
-- Facilitating trade
In the process of going global, ICBC has attached great importance to the Belt and Road markets. By the end of 2018, the bank has established 131 branches in 21 countries and regions along the routes, allowing it to facilitate the trade among the countries and regions along the routes.
During the First China International Import Expo (CIIE), ICBC held a forum about trade and financial cooperation and innovation to share the best trade finance practice and discuss the cooperation blueprint under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), sending a strong signal that the Chinese and foreign banks under the BRBR Mechanism support the trade and investment facilitation along the routes.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, the goods trade volume between China and countries and regions along the Belt and Road routes surpassed 6 trillion U.S. dollars from 2013 to 2018.
The huge trade volume may be attributed to the efficient banking transactions and close collaboration among the banks at home and abroad, said analysts.
-- Creating finance and investment opportunities along Belt and Road
Since its establishment, the BRBR Mechanism has upheld its mission of providing more accurate investment and financing solutions for Belt and Road construction.
Under the BRBR Mechanism, ICBC has cooperated with other member banks to offer financing support to some energy projects.
For example, ICBC, together with other banks such as Bank of China (BOC) and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), has confirmed to take the lead in arranging 1.5 billion US dollars worth of loans for Dubai's 700MW solar-thermal power generation project.
According to ICBC, the bank organized the "Investing in Central Asia" in November 2018 to help the members of the BRBR to seize investment and financing opportunities along the Belt and Road routes and create more space for the cooperation under the BRI.
-- Promoting green finance
The BRBR Mechanism has been actively advocating and supporting the internationally accepted standards for green financial cooperation.
ICBC has worked with the members of the BRBR Mechanism to actively participate in the drafting of the Green Investment Principles (GIP) for the Belt and Road which was issued jointly by China Green Finance Committee and the City of London Green Finance Initiative.
So far, 12 member banks of BRBR Mechanism including China Development Bank, China Construction Bank, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Development Bank of Singapore, have officially signed GIP to support the green investment standards.
It is worth noting that ICBC has recently issued the first green bonds focusing on the BRBR in its latest bid to support the initiative's development.
Issued on April 16 via its Singapore branch, the Green Belt and Road Inter-bank Regular Cooperation Bond were offered in three currencies, namely, the Chinese yuan, the U.S. dollar and the euro, equivalent to 2.2 billion U.S. dollars.
According to ICBC, the issuance of the bond aims to support the development of green projects under the BRI and boost the inter-bank regular cooperation in the region. (Contributed by Hu Pingchao, Yu Rui, Edited by Zhang Aifang)