The Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a request by the Chinese authorities for China to become a shareholder of the Bank.
The Governors are the highest authority representing the EBRD’s existing 66 shareholders, which up to now comprise 64 countries and two international organisations.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti welcomed the decision. “China’s membership of the EBRD will open up significant further opportunities for sustainable investment by Chinese groups in the regions where the EBRD works”, he said.
In a letter applying for membership of the EBRD, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the activities of the EBRD complemented efforts to support investment and economic connectivity in the regions which China is promoting as part of the One Belt and One Road Initiative (also known as the Land and Maritime Silk Road Initiative).
“China could greatly contribute to EBRD as a transition bank by sharing our own experiences of transition and use the Bank as a vehicle to exchange experiences and lessons learned with the Bank’s countries of operations,” he added.
For its part, the EBRD sees a lot of scope for working with Chinese companies on projects in its regions that meet the Bank’s criteria for investment. There is scope for cooperation throughout the EBRD’s regions of operation, ranging from central Asia to eastern Europe and North Africa.
The EBRD has also expressed its readiness to work with the new Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, including on joint projects.