David Cameron to lead $1bn infrastructure fund for China’s Belt and Road

Former UK prime minister David Cameron will take a role leading a $1bn infrastructure investment fund set up to back China’s ambitious Belt and Road strategy.

Led by private institutions in the UK and China, the fund will not use taxpayer cash, according to reports.

The initiative was announced on 16 December among other agreements during a two-day visit to Beijing by UK Chancellor Philip Hammond as he tries to boost global trade ties before the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

Cameron said in September that he had discussed such a UK-China fund with China’s vice-premier Ma Kai during a trip to Beijing, The Financial Times reports.

After leaving office last July following the Brexit vote, the former PM has kept a low profile, opting to campaign on Alzheimer’s disease and chair a commission into the effectiveness of aid spending.

The fund and other agreements are intended to strengthen UK-China relations.

"The China-UK relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world," said vice-premier Ma.

Trade agreements Hammond announced are pegged to Belt and Road infrastructure schemes, a vast and multifaceted strategy of building new transport and logistics links between China and the West.

UK Export Finance, the government export credit agency, will make £25bn in credit available for projects involving UK companies in Belt and Road projects in Asia.

Image: David Cameron welcoming former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Number 10 Downing Street for a UK-China Summit in 2011 (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

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