BEIJING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) said Thursday that its outstanding loans for the Belt and Road Initiative surpassed 620 billion yuan (over 90 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of the first quarter.
The funds were pumped into more than 1,200 projects along the ancient trade routes, said Xie Ping, deputy governor of the bank. Its lending to international cooperation on industrial capacity was at more than 700 billion yuan.
"These projects have not only helped improve the competitiveness of Chinese firms but also boosted the development of developing countries that introduced standards and technologies from China," Xie said.
The Belt and Road Initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes, with industrial cooperation as a crucial part.
The bank said it also has increased financial support for manufacturing improvements, small enterprises, and poverty relief.
Founded in 1994, China Exim Bank is one of the country's three policy banks and works with foreign trade, offshore project contracting, and outbound investment.