China and Japan to discuss infrastructure investment in third countries

Out-Law News | 26 Sep 2019 | 2:43 pm | 1 min. read

China and Japan have agreed to hold a forum on infrastructure investment in third countries next spring with the purpose of bolstering cross-border cooperation between business and financial institutions, according to Nikkei.

It is hoped that the forum will lead to agreements on projects in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Governments in third countries are also being encouraged to collaborate on projects that are backed by Tokyo and Beijing.

Last year, the Chinese and Japanese governments held the first forum on China-Japan third-party market cooperation in Beijing during an official visit to China of the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Both countries agreed to create a "new framework" to facilitate cooperation when seeking investments in infrastructure projects abroad. They have, so far, backed over 50 infrastructure projects outside the two countries, agreeing to invest more than $18 billion.

About 1,000 attendees are expected to attend the forum next year. Public sector groups that will be represented include the China Development Bank, the China Export and Credit Insurance, the Japan External Trade Organization, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Both China and Japan have shown great interest of infrastructure investment in Southeast Asian countries. Bloomberg reported this June that Japanese-backed projects in the region’s six biggest economies -- Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- are valued at $367 billion.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently encouraged the two countries to expand cooperation areas and promote more cooperation achievements in trade and economic areas, according to Xinhua net.

Infrastructure expert Rachel Turner of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: "The success and extension of this collaborative approach to infrastructure investment is encouraging. Such cooperation will also encourage a closer relationship to develop between China and Japan."

"As part of its ambitious plans for the belt and road initiative, China will be keen to encourage similar collaborative efforts to provide finance and share the risks associated with the planned mega projects," she said.