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Financial Integration: Safeguarding the Global Economy
Text by Liu Ying

 

March 17, 2015: In Kars Province, Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center), Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili (right) and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (left) attend the launch of the Trans-Anatolia Gas Pipeline. In December 2016, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approved a loan worth US$600 million for the project. Xinhua  January 20, 2017: Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar (left) delivers a speech at the ceremony marking the signing of a share purchase agreement of the equity stake of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi. Three Chinese financial organizations bought 30 percent of the share. VCG

Since the global economic crisis erupted, trade protectionism, isolationism and terrorism have been on the rise, which has resulted in sluggish recovery of the global economy and setbacks in globalization. As a large, responsible country, China has consistently made key efforts to stabilize the world economy. During the global financial crisis, China was at times contributing over 50 percent of world economic growth. China is becoming the stabilizer and engine of the world economy.  In this context, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013 to strengthen cooperation based on the principles of policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties. Financial integration, in particular, is one crucial method of promoting economic growth and financial stability.

 

Financial Integration Propels the Belt and Road Initiative’s Construction

So far, the Belt and Road Initiative has inspired enthusiastic support from more than 100 countries. Over 130 agreements on transportation and more than 100 agreements on investment have been signed. More than 100 cross-border economic cooperation zones and industrial parks have been jointly built by China and countries along the routes. During the construction of the Belt and Road, China has deepened its financial cooperation with countries along the routes through policy-based finance, development finance, cooperative finance and commercial finance. China has strengthened cooperation in banking, securities, insurance and financial supervision. China has also promoted the regionalization and internationalization of currency. All these measures have supported the construction of the Belt and Road and stabilized regional finance. And China, as the main force, is driving the economic growth of countries along the routes. Multilateral financial organizations like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have participated in the construction of the Belt and Road, meeting various countries’ demands for financing of infrastructure. International financial organizations like the BRICS New Development Bank have played a leading role in pushing green development and establishing the green Silk Road. By the end of 2014, China had invested US$40 billion in the Silk Road Fund, an organization specifically formed to support infrastructure construction, connectivity, and financial and industrial cooperation along the Belt and Road. In its first year of operation, AIIB, initiated by China, invested US$1.7 billion in infrastructure. 

 

 

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