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China plans multi-million dollar investment in European infrastructure

China will pledge to invest billions of dollars into the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) at the 10th EU-China business summit in Brussels on 29 June, Reuters said16 Jun 2015

China announced that it would make an undisclosed amount available "for co-financing strategic investment of common interest across the EU," the draft final statement read, according to Reuters.

Agreements will be finalised at another meeting in September, Reuters said.

An unnamed EU diplomat told Reuters that the Chinese contribution was likely to be "in the billions", while other officials have told the news agency that Chinese banks are looking at telecoms and technology projects.

The EFSI investment plan, run by the European Investment Bank, aims to create jobs and revive growth across Europe, as part of a €315 billion (US$353 billion) "investment offensive".

The EU hopes to use the EFSI to invest in a range of projects in infrastructure, education, research, innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency, it said. It has committed €16bn from its own budget in guarantees and will fund around 20% of each project.

Lending under EFSI is expected to be backed by a core endowment of €21bn, comprising €5bn from the EIB and a €16bn guarantee from the EU. The EIB said it is committed to supporting these projects even if the EU guarantee is found not to apply.

Reuters reported last month that the EFSI was seeking funds in Asia.

Last month the European Investment Bank announced that it would invest in four EFSI projects, despite the fact that the fund has yet to be formally established. 

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