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Billions lent to develop Yangtze Economic Belt

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A Chinese flag (C) flutters at the headquarters of China Development Bank (CDB) in Beijing, China September 23, 2018. Picture taken September 23, 2018. REUTERS/Florence Lo

BEIJING (Xinhua) – China Development Bank (CDB), the world’s largest development finance institution, has extended trillions of yuan of loans to support the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

As of December 2018, outstanding loans to 11 provincial-level regions along the belt amounted to 3.85 trillion yuan (about $575 billion), according to the CDB.

New yuan loans to these regions reached 304.5 billion yuan last year, accounting for 48 percent of the bank’s total new yuan loans.

The funds mainly went to major projects in the fields of ecological protection and restoration, infrastructure connectivity, and industrial transformation and upgrading.

The CDB will continue to support ecological protection and green development of the Yangtze River in 2019, said CDB Chairman Zhao Huan.

China issued a development plan for the Yangtze River Economic Belt in September 2016 and a guideline for green development of the belt in 2017.

The Yangtze River Economic Belt consists of nine provinces and two municipalities that cover roughly one-fifth of China’s land. It has a population of 600 million and generates more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP.

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