China and the United Kingdom agreed to set up a bilateral investment fund with an initial round of $1 billion to support projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a statement released after an annual dialogue between the two sides.
The fund will be led by institutional investors from China and the UK, and "it will invest in innovative, sustainable and consumption-driven growth opportunities in the two countries as well as third markets to create employment and boost trade links", the statement said.
It is one of the 72 results achieved on Saturday after The Ninth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in Beijing, which was co-chaired by Chinese Vice-Premier Ma Kai and the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond.
The two sides reached a series of new agreements on deepening economic and financial cooperation and providing new impetus to the development of "Golden Era" of China-UK relations.
The two countries signed an agreement that the UK will inject $50 million into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's Project Preparation Special Fund which provides grant support primarily to low-income developing member countries to prepare high-quality projects.
China and the UK agreed to accelerate the final preparations and to review the timeline "when conditions permit" for launching the London-Shanghai Stock Connect, a scheme that is designed to allow companies from the two countries list on each other's stock markets.
This is seen as one of the important measures to enhance China-UK bilateral capital flows, and to leverage the unrivaled depth and liquidity of London's markets to support the usage of Chinese currency and Chinese companies to raise capital in London as well as in the global capital market.
Besides, both sides agreed to launch a working group and feasibility study to establish a China-UK bond market connect arrangement to help facilitate greater two-way investment into each other's bond markets, according to the statement.
"This year is the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-UK Ambassadorial Diplomatic Relations, and there are new opportunities to deepen the cooperation between China and the UK," said the Chinese Vice-Premier Ma, who also expected further cooperation in energy, infrastructure, industrial strategy, trade and investment.
Hammond reiterated that the UK will continue to support the Belt and Road Initiative and to further tighten China-UK relationship of the "Golden Era" by strengthening depth cooperation in broad areas.
The British delegation will look to establish opportunities in China for the UK's financial services sector, and strengthen trade links with the world's second-largest economy when the country prepares to leave the European Union.
According to the joint statement, the two sides also determined to continually push forward the progress on the construction of the Hinkley Point C project, a nuclear power station, and to increase the number of flights to 150 per week between the two countries.