Investment in China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has slowed this year according figures from Chinese Ministry of Commerce, reports the FT.
Official figures show a foreign direct investment (FDI) decline of 18 per cent so far in 2017 to BRI countries, despite a 40 per cent increase in China outbound FDI globally. In total, 47 state-owned enterprises were involved in 1,676 projects in BRI countries last year.
China Development Bank, the largest Chinese lender into BRI countries, saw a US$1bn year-on-year decline in BRI lending, falling to US$ 110bn and sliding to 33 per cent of all foreign lending last year from a 41 per cent peak in 2014.
The figures come as a Chinese consortium, led by state bank CITIC, bids for a 70-85 percent stake in Myanmar’s US$7.3bn deep sea port at Kyauk Pyu on the Bay of Bengal. The port will enable oil and gas pipelines to run from China to the Middle East, reports Reuters.
BRI investment however looks set to be accelerated as heads of state gather in Beijing this weekend for the Silk Road summit in order to propel Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision forward.