B&R by the Numbers: Financial connectivity should be further strengthened

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Belt and Road Portal's special series on the Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017.

China should strengthen financial cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe in pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a newly-released report.

The Belt and Road Big Data Report 2017 published by the State Information Center offers two indices measuring financial cooperation as well as the financial environment of countries along the Belt and Road routes.

This finds that China’s financial connectivity with countries along the Belt and Road routes further improved in 2017 as compared with the situation in 2016 and that the country’s connectivity with Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are better than the others.

The report also finds China’s financial cooperation with Northeast and Southeast Asia are the closest along the routes, and the countries involved offer a good financial environment.

However, China’s financial cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries should be strengthened, and the local financial environment needs to be improved.

The score of the financial connectivity for Northeast Asia is nearly four times that of the Central and Eastern Europe, the report points out.

By the end of last year, nine Chinese banks had set up 62 tier-1 branches in 26 countries along the Belt and Road routes, and 54 commercial banks from 20 countries along the routes had set up branches in China. 

The report said that nearly half China’s provincial regions, mostly in eastern and southern China, had created Belt and Road special funds to provide financial guarantees for relevant projects.

However, provincial regions in northeast and southwest China need to strengthen support in this regard.

During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in May, China said it would provide another US$136 billion to support relevant infrastructure projects, showing the huge demand for capital for promoting the Belt and Road Initiative. 

Editor: liuyue