After Italy, another European state officially joined the “Belt and Road initiative”. Thus, during Xavier Bettel’s (prime minister of Luxembourg) to China on March 27, 2019, a memorandum of understanding was signed formalizing Luxembourg’s participation in the Chinese initiative.
In 2017, Xavier Bettel already approved the principle of the new Silk Roads, considering the BRI as the best way to strengthen Sino-European cooperation. Since then, Chinese banks have increased their investment in Luxembourg.
This signature has been less commented than that of Italy, however it is equally important.
Unlike Italy, Luxembourg, by its geography, is not destined to receive large investments in its transport infrastructure, but the Grand Duchy hopes, thanks to the BRI, to retain its international financial center status.
Investment development in Asia and Europe will require stronger financial cooperation between the EU and China. London, until then, was at the forefront of financial products for the Belt and Road Initiative; but the fear of a hard BREXIT could lead Chinese investors to prefer the continent’s financial centers to conduct their operations.
Following this signing, at the Boao forum, Luxembourg Stock Exchange signed several agreements with Chinese financial institutions.
Two agreements were signed with Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange for green finance products. Luxembourg’s expertise in green finance is not to be demonstrated, and China aims to make the energy transition one of the BRI’s prime objectives.
An agreement signed with Shanghai Clearing House would enable the Luxembourg Stock Exchange to connect the Grand Duchy to the China Interbank market.
Finally, Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Bank of China signed an agreement that would make the Chinese bank an intermediary between the Chinese and European markets, thus facilitating financial exchanges between the two regions.
Luxembourg has built its economic success on European integration and trade; Luxembourg shares with China the same motivation to build an open world.