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PRESS RELEASE


Some $115 Billion in New Investments at First Day of BRF

May 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—After China’s President Xi Jinping stated in his keynote speech at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) that "many new projects will be announced," it was first reported that about $115 billion more in investments targeted exclusively to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had been announced.

This included, first, a $15 billion addition to the initial $40 billion Chinese commitment to the Silk Road Fund for infrastructure, formed in 2015. The Silk Road Fund has so far invested $6 billion in Silk Road (SRF) infrastructure projects; but with joint commitments from private funds, from China’s sovereign wealth funds, from the governments of Mongolia, Pakistan, and Turkey, the total commitments are approximately $80 billion according to the Silk Road Fund site. It has also paid in about $2 billion to a joint investment with Kazakhstan into the dry port at Horgho and other projects.

Also newly committed at the Forum on May 14, 2017-15, were $55 billion by two of China’s state policy banks, and $45 billion from Chinese state commercial lenders.

Xi also said that the Chinese government would encourage its overseas yuan-investment funds to expand their commitments by about $40 billion. An example is given by one of its largest such funds, which has partnered with the German city of Duisburg and its financial institutions, to develop infrastructure around Duisburg as the terminus of one of the new Pacific-to-Atlantic freight rail land-bridges.

New Chinese joint project investments were announced with Pakistan, with Malaysia, and with Hungary, whose Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said China’s Export-Import Bank presented a financing proposal for the new high-speed railway line from Budapest to Belgrade, in Serbia.

And China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) announced it was concluding $20 billion in deals during the Forum, including a $4 billion agreement for a natural gas processing plant in Azerbaijan with the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, gas storage and gas-fired power projects with Russia’s Gazprom, and a Kenya power project.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointedly recommended in his Sunday morning speech at the opening session that "the involvement of the sovereign wealth funds of the nations along the Belt and Road is needed," suggesting the need for creation of national credit institutions in all the nations participating.