The Bank of China (BOC) has said that, by the end of June this year, it had approved more than $140 billion of credit and funded over 600 major projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Over the past few years, it has continuously invested in economies along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (jointly known as the BRI), according to the bank.
It has established overseas institutions in 24 countries and regions associated with the initiative.Since 2015, the BOC, which is the fourth-largest commercial lender by assets in China, has issued BRI themed bonds five times in seven currencies, with a total value of $14.6 billion.
The interest of international investors, particularly European, in BRI-themed bonds has grown significantly in the past few years, according to the lender.
Dubbed the 21st century Silk Road project, the BRI was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping six years ago. Since then, Beijing has signed 173 agreements with 125 countries, including developed and developing countries, and 29 international organizations.
China’s trade with countries participating in its ambitious initiative has reached 4.24 trillion yuan ($591 billion) in the first half of this year.The multi-trillion-dollar initiative aims to boost connectivity and cooperation between Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Experts say it will significantly boost global commerce, cutting trading costs by half for the countries involved.