China / Government

China announces contribution to EU's 315 billion-euro investment plan

By Chen Yingqun ( Updated: 2015-09-28 20:12

China's vice-premier Ma Kai told European Union Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen during a High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Beijing on Monday that China will contribute to the commission's 315 billion-euro Investment Plan for Europe.

China is the first non-EU country to announce its contribution to the plan.

The two sides also agreed to set up a joint working group to increase cooperation between the EU and China on all aspects of investment. The group will include experts from China's Silk Road Fund, the commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB, the commission's strategic partner in the investment plan, was also represented at the dialogue.

The commission and the Chinese government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the EU-China Connectivity Platform to enhance synergies between China's "One Belt One Road" initiative and the EU's connectivity initiatives such as the Trans-European Transport Network policy. The platform will promote cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, equipment, technologies and standards. This will create multiple business opportunities and promote employment, growth and development for both side, and will be done in cooperation with the EIB.

The EU also encouraged deepened collaboration between China and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), including the examination of a possible membership in the EBRD.

Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: "This is the right moment to invest in Europe, and I am delighted that China has announced its intention to contribute to the investment plan. I am confident that other institutional investors will follow. We want to deepen our economic relations with China in the context of the investment plan, as well as the One Belt One Road initiative, to promote connectivity between EU and China".

The dialogue followed the EU-China Summit which took place in Brussels on June 29 at which the two sides agreed to cooperate on investment, connectivity, the digital economy and low carbon investment.

The investment plan has three objectives: removing obstacles to investment by deepening the single market, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects, and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. According to commission estimates, the plan has the potential to add at least 330 euros to 410 billion euros to the EU's GDP and create 1 to 1.3 million jobs over coming years. It aims to address the current situation where the EU has sufficient liquidity, but private investors are not investing at the levels needed.

Nine EU members have so far announced contributions to the investment plan: Germany (8 billion euros), Spain (1.5 billion euros), France (8 billion euros), Italy (8 billion euros), Luxembourg (80 million euros), Poland (8 billion euros), Slovakia (400 million euros), Bulgaria (100 million euros) and the UK (6 billion pounds/around 8.5 billion euros).

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