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The Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) is a state-owned policy bank that plays a crucial role in supporting China’s foreign trade and overseas investment. Established in 1994, Exim Bank operates under the direct leadership of China’s State Council.

Exim Bank serves several key functions:

  • Provides financing to promote Chinese exports and imports
  • Supports overseas expansion by Chinese companies
  • Offers government concessional loans as foreign aid
  • Implements state economic development strategies

As a wholly state-owned bank, Exim Bank aligns with the diplomatic and economic priorities of the Chinese government. It has been a vital tool in initiatives such as:

  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • Going Out Policy
  • Post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

Some key facts about the Export-Import Bank of China:

  • Founded: 1994
  • Headquarters: Beijing
  • Leadership: Hu Xiaolian, Chairwoman
  • Ownership: 100% state-owned
  • Staff: Unknown
  • Assets: Over $500 billion (estimated)
Business Areas
Export credits
Import credits
Overseas contracts
Outbound investment
Trade finance
Settlement services
Foreign exchange

With the Chinese government’s backing, Exim Bank has become a major force in global export and development finance. Some analysts estimate it provides more export financing than all G7 country export credit agencies combined.

Exim Bank has faced criticism from other export credit agencies over its lending terms and risk standards. But the bank helps Chinese companies “go global” and extends China’s soft power.

Mission and Business Scope

As a policy bank, the Export-Import Bank of China aims to facilitate China’s national development strategies and support foreign trade and investment.


Exim Bank’s main objectives are to:

  • Promote foreign trade, cross-border investment, and the Belt and Road Initiative
  • Support international industrial capacity cooperation
  • Assist Chinese SMEs in going global
  • Strengthen China’s open economy

The bank provides financial backing for sectors seen as priorities for China’s economic growth and global integration.

Business Scope

Exim Bank offers a wide range of banking services and financial products including:

  • Loans
    • Export credits
    • Import credits
    • Overseas contracts
    • Outbound investment
    • Government concessional loans
  • Trade finance
    • Guarantees
    • Letters of credit
    • Forfeiting
    • Settlement services
  • Foreign exchange
  • On-lending of foreign loans
  • Deposits
  • Bond issuance
  • Inter-bank operations
  • Consulting services
Loan Types

The bank’s lending aligns with state diplomatic and policy goals. It directs financing to key sectors like infrastructure, natural resources, engineering and construction.

Exim Bank has expanded operations to keep up with China’s global growth. It now has a network of 25 branches within China and 7 locations overseas.

Organizational Structure

The Export-Import Bank of China has an extensive organizational structure reflecting its scale and policy role.


Exim Bank is governed by a Board of Directors and supervised by a Board of Supervisors.

Key executives are:

  • Chairwoman: Hu Xiaolian
  • Vice Chairman & President: Wu Fulin


The bank has over 20 specialized internal departments including:

  • Lending & Credit
  • Planning & Finance
  • Risk Management
  • Research
  • Legal Affairs
  • Treasury
  • Administration

There is also a Compliance Department that oversees internal controls.

Domestic Network

Within China, Exim Bank has:

  • 25 provincial and city branches
  • 1 Hong Kong representative office
Branch Locations

(List abridged for length)

Global Presence

Overseas, Exim Bank operates:

  • Paris Branch
  • 4 Representative Offices (Asia, Africa)

It is looking to expand globally to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative and overseas business growth.


The Export-Import Bank of China is 100% owned by the Chinese government. It has status as an independent legal entity but ultimately reports to the State Council.


As a state policy bank, the Export-Import Bank of China has significantly influenced China’s overseas expansion and trade competitiveness.

Trade and Investment Finance

  • Exim Bank is estimated to finance more exports and investment than all G7 export credit agencies combined
  • Has provided over $670 billion in overseas loans since 2008
  • Supports many large-scale projects in developing countries through export credits and investment loans

Belt and Road Initiative

  • Major financier of Belt and Road infrastructure and energy projects
    • Roads, rail, ports, pipelines, power plants
  • Over $200 billion in BRI financing extended
  • Aligns with geostrategic goals of Chinese government

Going Global Support

  • Assists Chinese companies in acquiring overseas assets and expanding internationally
  • Enables China’s construction firms to secure contracts for overseas mega-projects
  • Provides strong financial backing to raise global competitiveness

Covid-19 Response

  • Rolled out emergency loans and export credit support during pandemic
  • Helped stabilize trade flows and supply chains
  • Provided relief on debt repayments to strained nations
Year New Loans (USD billion)
2018 ~$40
2019 ~$39
2020 ~$30

Concerns Raised

  • Critics allege Exim Bank loans lack transparency and environmental protections
  • Terms seen as favorable to Chinese interests
  • Used as source of economic and political leverage over borrowing nations

Despite controversies, the Export-Import Bank of China will remain a powerful arm of Chinese policy. With its vast financial capacity, Exim Bank offers valuable support for China’s companies and global ambitions. Yet its practices also raise risks of debt distress abroad. Finding balance will be key.


As a state-owned policy bank, the Export-Import Bank of China occupies a unique and influential role. Exim Bank provides vital financing to grow China’s exports, overseas contracts, and outward investment. It delivers government concessional loans and trade finance tools that boost Chinese competitiveness.

With ample capital and policy alignment, Exim Bank has fueled many key initiatives – the Belt and Road Initiative, industrial cooperation, and post-COVID recovery. The bank continues expanding both domestically and internationally.

However, Exim Bank has faced criticism over its risk practices and loan terms which allegedly favor Chinese interests. Its lending raises debt risks in some emerging markets.

Going forward, Exim Bank will remain a powerful arm of Chinese economic statecraft. It has helped China become a global trade and investment leader. Balancing strong backing for Chinese firms with sustainable lending practices will be crucial to Exim Bank’s future and its vision of mutual development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Export-Import Bank of China?

The Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) is a Chinese state-owned policy bank. It provides financing support for Chinese exports, overseas contracts, outbound investment, and foreign infrastructure projects.

When was Exim Bank founded?

Exim Bank was established in 1994 under the direct administration of China’s State Council. It has been operating for over 25 years.

How is Exim Bank funded?

As a state-owned bank, Exim Bank receives its capital from the Chinese government. It also raises funds through bond issuances and inter-bank operations.

What are Exim Bank’s main financial products?

Exim Bank offers loans, trade finance services, foreign exchange, bank deposits, settlement services and more. Key loans include export credits, import credits, overseas contracts and investment loans.

Does Exim Bank operate internationally?

Yes, Exim Bank has branches and offices globally including in Paris, Africa and Russia. It works internationally to support Chinese firms and projects under initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative.
























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