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BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China
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EIB to open Beijing office this year

The European Investment Bank will open a representative office in Beijing to expand its presence in China.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said the branch will strengthen cooperation between China and the European Union whose member states own the EIB.

"I am really looking forward to opening the office in Beijing under the umbrella of European representation," Hoyer said.

Hoyer said he is trying to settle the remaining details, such as the branch’s opening date, as quickly as possible. He might visit China this year to help open the office if various important matters related to the project are settled.

Once the office is opened, Hoyer said it will undertake various projects with Chinese partners.

"Meanwhile, we are interested in getting our Chinese partners involved in the investment opportunities we offer," Hoyer said.

EIB is the EU’s long-term lending institution that upports the EU’s priority objectives, especially boosting sustainable growth and job creation. It aims to provide long-term lending in order to mobilize funding from the private and public sectors.

"This is a project which has already been in the cooking for quite a while," Hoyer said. "I think a few of the details still have to be worked out."

He said the EIB has been communicating regularly with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing to keep the plan on track.

In 2010, the EIB granted a US$645 million loan to China to support projects that combat climate change. Three years earlier, the EIB granted China an initial loan of US$648 million for the same purpose.

That money has been used to support up to 15 projects in China to mitigate climate change, and support a greater and better use of renewable energy sources and a more efficient use of energy in general.

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