Banks partner for ‘One Belt One Road’ projects

Standard Chartered and China Merchants Bank will collaborate to provide financial services, including project financing, for projects under the China-led initiative.

Standard Chartered Bank has formed a strategic alliance with China Merchants Bank to cooperate on business opportunities under China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative.   

The two banks will provide financial services and solutions across various areas including project financing, renminbi internationalisation and bilateral investment treaties for multinational corporations, according to a joint statement. 

The region has an estimated $1 trillion financing need in the next decade, said Anurag Bajaj, Standard Chartered’s global head of banks. He added that with a presence in over 65 percent of the OBOR countries, the bank is committed to supporting its clients and their ecosystems in the Belt and Road projects.   

China Merchants Bank is the first joint-stock commercial bank in China to establish a task force on OBOR-related businesses and the OBOR cooperation agreement with Standard Chartered is the first for China Merchants Bank. 

Trade between China and the Belt and Road countries exceeded $600 billion during the first eight months of 2016, according to Fang Aiqin, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Commerce, quoted in press agency Xinhua. He added that during that period, China invested nearly $10 billion in these countries through financial institutions, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.