Business / Economy

Premier urges Sino-EU investment fund launch

By WANG XU (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-29 07:56

Premier Li Keqiang called on Monday for the establishment of a China-European Union joint investment fund and voiced support for stability of the euro.

Such a fund would boost bilateral investment and financial cooperation and show the international community that China and the EU would step up mutual investment cooperation and explore the third-country market, Li said.

"This also demonstrates China's unswerving support for the euro's stability as well as the solidarity and development of the EU," Li told visiting European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.

The premier's remarks followed an announcement by Vice-Premier MaKai on Monday that China would contribute to the commission's 315 billion euro ($352 billion) Investment Plan for Europe. This aims to revive investment in strategic projects across the continent to ensure that money reaches the real economy. China is the first non-EU country to announce a contribution to the plan, according to the commission.

The announcement was made during the High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue co-chaired by Ma and Katainen on Monday. The two sides agreed to set up a joint working group to increase cooperation on all aspects of investment.

During the dialogue, they signed a memorandum of understanding on the EU-Chna Connectivity Platform to enhance links between China's Belt and Road Initiative and EU initiatives such as the Trans-European Transport Network policy.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to revive the ancient trading route between Asia and Europe. The Investment Plan for Europe was initiated by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to resuscitate the European economy.

The platform will promote cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, equipment, technologies and standards.

During the dialogue, China signed an agreement with the EU to co-develop 5G networks. Ma said at a news conference afterward that China would strive to launch 5G commercial services in 2020.

Katainen said he was delighted to see China contributing to the Investment Plan, adding that it is "the right moment to invest in Europe".

"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 Belt and Road Initiative, to promote connectivity between the EU and China," he said.

An Baijie contributed to this story.

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