China will set up funds totaling 50 billion yuan (7.6 billion U.S. dollars) to invest in Belt and Road (B&R) projects in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and ASEAN countries.
The funds will be established jointly by an investment arm of China’s policy bank China Development Bank (CDB) and Guangxi Investment Group. They will be used to support infrastructure and industrial projects along the B&R, according to the CDB.
Guangxi is an important border area that connects China with ASEAN countries and plays a key role in the construction of the B&R Initiative.
Proposed by China in 2013, the B&R Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa based on ancient land and maritime trade routes.
Hong Qi, chairperson of China Minsheng Bank, estimates that infrastructure financing demand along the B&R will amount to 10 trillion U.S. dollars in the next five years.
Seeing opportunities from the booming demand, China’s commercial and policy banks have been stepping up B&R related investments.
Besides setting up funds, the CDB also pledged more financing support to Guangxi through tools including loans and securities. The Export-Import Bank of China recently established a branch in Guangxi to help with local industrial upgrades and B&R related projects.