More financial connectivity urged

By Zhong Nan in Dalian, Liaoning province | | Updated: 2017-06-28 17:01

Senior officials from international financial institutions have urged governments and companies to accelerate the pace of financial connectivity and build closer relations with the private sector to participate in infrastructure projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

International Monetary Fund deputy managing director Zhang Tao said measures including cross-border payment and mobile banking products, as well as relaxing financing supply restrictions would encourage financial institutions to provide more support to the real economy in markets related to the initiative.

"Modern technologies can provide relatively cheaper methods to low-income households to use basic financial products and people who don't have access to the banks," he said.

Regarding the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the IMF will establish a new skills training center in Singapore and other countries involved in the initiative soon.

The IMF has already set up one skills training center in Dalian last month in partnership with the People's Bank of China.

To avoid taking on too much risk in countries that have limited access for big-ticket infrastructure project financing, Zhang said all international investors should target countries with stable financial markets, ensure there is sufficient capital flowing in and have flexible policies to manage currency and foreign reserves.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Vice-President Danny Alexander said public-private partnerships is another way to finance the Belt and Road Initiative and the bank will help related parties to spread this model in Asia, Southeast Asia and Middle East.

AIIB announced earlier this month that it has approved three applicants including Argentina and Madagascar to join the bank, bringing the bank's total approved membership to 80.

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