EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti will visit Beijing on 26-28 June for meetings with the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that will focus on ways in which the two institutions may cooperate in future.
He will attend the 4th Global Think Tank Summit on 27 June, where he will make a keynote speech on the subject of “Infrastructure and Growth in Asia: The role of AIIB and EBRD”.
There will be discussions with senior Chinese officials, including from the People’s Bank of China, the Chinese central bank. Sir Suma will make a separate speech at the conference on green growth prospects.
China is not a member of the EBRD and the Bank does not invest in the country. However, the EBRD would consider working with Chinese partners on joint investments in those countries which are recipients of EBRD finance.
The EBRD was founded in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to foster the development of market economies in former communist, centrally planned countries. It now invests in 36 countries stretching from central Europe to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.
In his speech on infrastructure, President Chakrabarti will make clear that the EBRD is actively looking to cooperate with the AIIB, which has its headquarters in Beijing.
There has already been contact between the EBRD and the AIIB. The EBRD has shared its experiences in meeting the challenges of building up a new institution from scratch. It has outlined its own strategies, policies and business models and its approach to governance and procurement.
In his meetings in Beijing, Sir Suma will look ahead to more formal ties. “We are very keen to work together at the earliest possible opportunity,” he was expected to say. “The potential for synergy – and for making a real, lasting difference on the ground – is huge. And we are doing everything we can to realise that potential even now.”
The China visit will also be an opportunity for the EBRD to deepen its understanding of the Chinese market.
The Bank is eager to increase its activities with Asian companies, including from China, which can bring their expertise and finance to the countries in which the EBRD invests. Investment requirements in the EBRD regions remain significant and it is important for countries to be able to broaden the scope of their sources of potential financing.