Representatives from various European regions on Thursday (June 4) tried to convince the four major Chinese banks to invest in projects in new investment program of the EU.
At a workshop in Brussels, regions and cities, including Berlin, Catalonia, Ile-de-France, and Lodz, made presentations of ideas for ICT projects.
Their releases were heard by officials of European departments of ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China, four of the seven largest banks in the world. HSBC representative was also present.
ICBC is the largest bank in the world with $ 3.3 trillion in assets, followed by China Construction Bank.
The investment program, often called the Juncker background after the president of the EU Commission, intends to unlock private sector investment by guaranteeing part of the investment with money from the EU budget and European Investment Bank.
The fund is expected to reach a total of € 315 billion to spend on infrastructure projects Kickstart EU economy.
The four Chinese banks in addition to HSBC, "are ready to evaluate with great interest the opportunity to invest in Europe," said Luigi Gambardella, chief of the International Association ChinaEU, which aims to promote business cooperation between China and Europe.
A Chinese banker, who spoke to this website on condition of anonymity, said the Chinese financial market is limited in opportunities.
"The European market is a very important strategic market for us," said the banker.
"I have not yet spoken with the EIB, but I think that Chinese banks would like to participate in this plan, provide some funding."
Fear of 'Chinese money'
An audience member from Austria noted that promoters of regional projects funded are wary of Chinese funds.
"For regions is very sensitive to talk about Chinese money coming into the region. We do not want to need money, that does not come from Europe or Austria, or the region," he said.
But that fear is unwarranted, said Alessandro Carano, chief adviser on employment to the commission.
"China is already a major investor in EIB bonds. China [has] already [been] indirectly financing the European economy for many years," Carano said, adding that some Europeans might not be aware of it.
"But we have no problem with this. On the contrary, we welcome," Carano said.
Gambardella told this website that many countries are not as interested in investing in Europe as China is.
"There are not many in the world. Maybe there Qatar, Emirates. Very few."
A study published in May by EY found that Europe has become the "most attractive investment destination", beating China's number one position.
But respondents do not necessarily put their money where their mouths are. The study showed that while 59 percent of investors are confident in the prospects for Europe for the next three years, only 32 percent of executives plan to invest, or invest more than they already do in Europe during next year.
"Europe must do this with all the different regions of the world," Gambardella said, referring to the workshop.
Meanwhile on Thursday evening in Brussels Moreover, negotiators from the EU institutions agreed to the last technical details of a political agreement that was necessary to implement the Juncker background.
The commitment will be put to the vote in the European Parliament on 24 June, with national governments are expected to endorse in the next few days, so that the fund will be operational on July 1.
https://euobserver.com By PETER TEFFER
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