China and Lebanon join EBRD

15 Dec 15

China and Lebanon have been approved to become shareholders of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Both countries will take the bank’s total number of shareholders to 68, consisting of 66 countries along with the European Union and the European Investment Bank.

China was given the go-ahead by the bank’s board of governors yesterday. Sir Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD president, said the country’s membership will “open up significant further opportunities for sustainable investment by Chinese groups” in regions where the EBRD works.

In a letter applying for membership of the EBRD, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said the bank’s activities complemented efforts to support investment and economic connectivity in countries in Europe and Asia.  

This is primarily focused on developing a land-based route, historically called the Silk Road, which stretches from China through central Asia, as well as a ‘maritime Silk Road’ across several seas.

Welcoming the deal, the EBRD highlighted that it was ready to work with the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on joint projects.

The bank also said it sees “a lot of scope” for working with Chinese companies on projects in EBRD regions of operation such as central Asia, eastern Europe, and north Africa.

Xiaochaun said in his letter: “China could greatly contribute to EBRD as a transition bank by sharing our own experience of transition and use the bank as a vehicle to exchange experiences and lessons learned with the bank’s countries of operation.”

Lebanon first sought membership of the EBRD since July this year, and in a statement said the bank’s support would play an important role in developing sustainable economic growth in the country by strengthening key sectors of the economy and contributing to reforms. 

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