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China agrees to increase trade credit at World Bank
Updated: 2009-03-23 23:11

BEIJING - China said it had agreed with a private arm of the World Bank to increase trade finance.

"China reached a primary agreement with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) on purchasing IFC's private equities to finance trade credit," Vice Finance Minister Li Yong said on Monday.

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Li's comments came at a press briefing about Chinese President Hu Jintao's attendance at the G20 Summit scheduled for April 2 in London.

Li, however, didn't specify how much credit China would purchase. IFC is the private-sector lending arm of the World Bank.

The worldwide shortage of trade finance has risen to an estimated US$100 billion from US$25 billion in November, according to figures released at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva in March.

Li attributed current trade finance difficulty to the world financial crisis.

"The crisis has taken its toll on developing economies, which are confronted with capital outflow and difficult trade finance," Li said.

Li called for the G20 economies to work more closely on trade finance, help multi-lateral banks increase the volume of trade finance and support exports from developing countries.

"China is actively studying proposals by some development institutions which urge China to buy their bonds and consider issuing bonds in Chinese currency," Vice Governor of China's central bank Hu Xiaolian said.

Hu said China supported efforts by the International Monetary Fund to come up with new ways of raising capital, possibly including the sale of bonds.

"China would actively consider buying bonds if issued," Hu said.