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China Exim Bank increases loans to Belt and Road countries

Loans provided by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) to countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative were up 46 percent from the beginning of 2015 to 520 billion yuan (US$79 billion) at the year-end, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road strategies, proposed in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The initiative aims to better connect the countries along the routes and enhance trade across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa through infrastructure development.

Government-backed China Exim Bank financed more than 1,000 projects in 49 countries last year, Xinhua added.

“Those projects are not only a boon for local growth but facilitate a unified regional market and industrial value chains,” China Exim Bank spokesperson Dai Peng said on Thursday, quoted by Xinhua.

In the first 11 months of 2015, Chinese companies invested US$14.01 billion in countries along the Belt and Road routes, up 35.3 percent from the previous year, the news agency reported.