(Repeats to wider audience)
BEIJING, April 10 China's banks and other
financial firms should provide support for the integration of
the economies of Hebei, Beijing and Tianjin, a top central bank
official said in remarks published on Monday.
On April 1, the government announced plans to establish a
new special economic zone in Xiongan, in the heavily polluted
province of Hebei, in order to promote integration with the
neighbouring cities of Beijing and Tianjin.
"The financial sector should seize the major opportunities
brought by Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cooperation strategy for its
own development," Pan Gongsheng, a vice central bank governor,
was quoted as saying in a statement on the bank's website.
Pan told a meeting at which officials from the central bank,
the National Development and Reform Commission, the China
Securities Regulatory Commission, as well as those from Beijing,
Tianjin and Hebei discussed ways to finance the integration.
Financial institutions should step up support for
infrastructure and environmental projects, as well as industrial
upgrading and technology innovation in the region, provide
long-term capital and green financing, Pan said.
"Serving the country's major strategy is an important
responsibility of financial institutions," the central bank said
in the statement.
Officials also pledged to help firms raise funds on bond and
equity markets and get overseas financing.
China is implementing a plan aimed at integrating the
economies of Hebei, Beijing and Tianjin, a heavily polluted
region known as Jing-Jin-Ji.
Beijing, home to 22 million people, is trying to curb
population growth and relocate industries and other "non-capital
functions" to Hebei as part of efforts to curb pollution and
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Robert Birsel)