Six countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia -united under the common name of Central Asia, will become an arena of active investment cooperation between Europe and China.
These commitments were announced during the meeting held at the Central Asian investment forum in Beijing with the participation of EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and the Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), Chen Yulu.
The three parties agreed to work on quantitative and qualitative improvements in investment in line with the priorities of the participating countries. The need for sustainable investments with market-oriented partners, with a focus on private sector operations, was also emphasized.
For this purpose, the EBRD, the EU and Chinese financial institutions will help to create favorable environment that were conducive for such financing, in particular by addressing risks, building the capacity of institutions and clients, promoting a predictable and level playing field for investors and by incentivising green and inclusive investment.
According to the EBRD President Chakrabarti, such cooperation can make a real contribution to the implementation of sustainable projects that “can help forge robust commercial links across Central Asia and right through to Europe.”
In turn, Deputy Governor of the PBoC Chen confirmed China’s willingness to work with the EBRD and other parties, to further promote financial, renewable energy, infrastructure, and agribusiness and risk mitigation cooperation between China and Central Asian countries under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Mr. Mimica also supported the overall high spirit, recalling the recently adopted new EU Strategy “Connecting Europe and Asia”, which exemplifies the firm commitment of the European Union to boosting cooperation with our Asian partners in key areas like connectivity and sustainable development.
A practical step in this direction was the signing at the Beijing conference of a Memorandum of understanding between the EBRD and the China International Contractors Association. The document is expected to strengthen cooperation on investments in third-party markets that are EBRD countries of operations and are part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
The prospects, arising from the implementation of the agreements at the Beijing forum, are quite inspiring. And, perhaps, they are not only about the promising financial flows, but rather about the synergy and consensus of interests that can be formed thanks to the common economic goals in Central Asia between the giant Chinese program of the new Silk Road and European aspirations.