David Cameron’s proposed $1bn (£765m) UK-China investment fund has reportedly faced reluctance from investors and could be set to fail in meeting its target.
The former Prime Minister has been courting investors for the fund, backed by both the UK and Chinese governments, for almost a year and a half.
Sources close to the project said it had still not completed a first round of fundraising, usually around half the overall target size.
One person who was asked to support the project told the Financial Times: “It’s completely moribund.
“They approached all the big banks and other serious investors and I don’t know of anyone that’s put money up.”
The UK-China Fund is intended to improve roads, ports and rail networks between China and trade partners.
The initiative could also push cooperation between the UK and China in technology, healthcare, energy and manufacturing.
The chancellor Philip Hammond announced the fund in December 2017 during an official visit to China.
A person close to the fund said Brexit had stalled the project but announcements could now be made in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for Cameron’s office said: “Work on the UK-China Fund is progressing very well.
“Positive discussions with potential investors have been ongoing both in the UK and China and substantial funds [are] already committed."
They hoped the project would reach "first closing" – the threshold of capital to start making investments – soon.