UK companies to support China's Belt and Road initiative with services and funding

Shanghai will sign a strategic agreement with Nottingham City of UK as the city's efforts to expand a network to promote trade and investment along the Belt and Road initiative.

British companies can support China's Belt and Road initiative by offering professional services and low-cost funding, the China-Britain Business Council said in a report today.

British companies can use their strength in financial services, legal services, infrastructure project planning and development, and energy projects to help Chinese companies expand along the Belt and Road countries, according to the report.

The initiative, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to revive economic ties and connectivity between China and countries across Asia, Europe and Africa.

Britain is a firm supporter for the initiative and actively seeks cooperation with Chinese companies in infrastructure projects along the Belt and Road countries as concrete progresses were made under the initiative, said John Edwards, Consul General of the British Consulate in Shanghai.

He said Britain plans to set up infrastructure hubs in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya to facilitate cooperation between British and Chinese countries after the hub in Beijing has bring together companies from the two countries in 47 projects along the Belt and Road.

A group of financial institutions in London are also working on a special funding channel that could offer efficient finance for joint projects between British and Chinese companies, Edwards added.

Sang Qi, vice counsel of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, said Shanghai will sign a strategic agreement with Nottingham City of UK as the city's efforts to expand a network to promote trade and investment along the Belt and Road initiative.

He said Shanghai aims to become a hub for Chinese companies' expansion along Belt and Road countries by expanding connection, enhancing economy, and deepening open-up.

Official data showed companies in Shanghai have invested combined US$4.6 billion in 246 projects along the Belt and Road, and has signed contracts to undertake 3,019 projects worth US$21.7 billion in these destinations.

Trade with the Belt and Road countries contributed to a fifth of Shanghai's total imports and exports last year.

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