BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Forging a long-term, stable, sustainable, risk-controllable and diversified financial cooperation framework and financing system stands always at the core of Belt and Road resources distribution, held experts on a Wednesday-convened conference in Shanghai.
For a long time, how to further promote financial integration, better satisfy investment and financing demand of businesses and promote pragmatic cooperation remain a question of broad concern for Belt and Road participants.
On September 27, attendees of the 2nd Conference of the Belt and Road Economic Information Partnership and 2023 Shanghai Entrepreneurs Conference for the Belt and Road High-quality Development shared and exchanged opinions in this regard.
-- Financial integration in constant progress
Financial integration, one of the five-pronged priorities of Belt and Road construction also including policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade and people-to-people bond, is widely considered as nutrient that nurtures the real economy.
As one of the major financial institutions engaged in outbound investment, trade and global economic cooperation, the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) has actively explored financial integration with notable fruits.
Wei Hao, deputy governor of the the Shanghai branch of China Eximbank said in the past decade, the bank issued loans related to the Belt and Road construction in excess of four trillion yuan to support in a highly effective manner construction of key projects in Belt and Road countries and regions.
By the end of 2022, balances of its Belt and Road construction loans were 2.2 trillion yuan, involving as many as over 130 partners jointly building the Belt and Road and taking up more than 40 percent of the comparable total of the bank.
Investment and financing are crucially important for Belt and Road projects and through investment funds of varied types, better supports can be provided for Belt and Road programs, believed Luis Figueiredo Trindade, chairman of Portuguese newspaper Jornal Económico.
Equity investment is also an integral part of financial integration under the Belt and Road Initiative. For instance, China Eximbank provided more than 26 billion yuan of funds for eight Belt and Road-related international investment cooperation funds such as China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund and China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund. These funds have invested in more than 140 programs in key fields including infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, and telecommunication.
Export credit insurance has also played an important role in jointly building the Belt and Road as an internationally recognized professional financial service that complies with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Taking advantage of the credit enhancement services and risk prevention functions of export credit insurance, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) can better cooperate with banks to help companies thoroughly leverage financial vehicles and products in the process of Belt and Road-related projects construction, investment, commodity trade and services trade, said Hu Min, deputy general manager of the Shanghai branch of Sinosure.
Hu said Sinosure has supported exports and investment of 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars in countries jointly building the Belt and Road and related compensation payment accumulated to 9.15 billion US dollars.
In fostering capital market cooperation and corporate financing, Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) functioned well. Zhu Sheng, vice director of the international cooperation department of SSE said that the bourse launched Belt and Road pilot work on bond market in March 2018 and by Wednesday, 34 batches of Belt and Road bonds involving proceeds of 31 billion yuan have been issued to fund the Belt and Road projects.
Photo shows the venue of the 2nd Conference of the Belt and Road Economic Information Partnership and 2023 Shanghai Entrepreneurs Conference for the Belt and Road High-quality Development.
--Diversified financing system needs improvement
In the past 10 years, China's financial industry played an active role in supporting Belt and Road construction while there is still much work to do in establishing a diversified financing system.
Zhu Sheng said that countries jointly building the Belt and Road are mostly developing countries which have huge demand for financing for infrastructure programs and related investment and financing programs usually involve multiple countries and currencies and broad cross-border financial cooperation.
As the investment and financing systems and credit systems of many Belt and Road countries are not that mature, more global capital and related institutional arrangements are in need, noted Zhu, saying that the long construction cycle of these infrastructure projects means great demand for capital and needs multiple channels of financing.
Wei Hao introduced that calculations of related institutions showed that the infrastructure financing demand in countries jointly building the Belt and Road by 2030 may reach 650 billion yuan and these funds can not be provided only by banks. To balance development and safety and guard against financial risks, Wei called on further expansion of financing channels to activate global and private capital.
Hussein Askary, vice chairman of Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX) thought infrastructure is a key aspect of Belt and Road Initiative and urged strengthening financing capability through establishing funds by multilateral development institutions to support Belt and Road infrastructure programs.
The conference was jointly organized by Xinhua News Agency and Shanghai Municipal People's Government and included an opening ceremony, keynote speeches and three thematic sub-forums on financial support, green development and compliance construction under the Belt and Road Initiative. (Edited by Duan Jing with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)