China Minsheng Investment has said will pour £1billion into the development of the Royal Docks as a new commercial district.

The investment fund will join with ABP to build office towers on brownfield land earmarked for an Asian business park next to University of East London.

The announcement comes just days after think-tank Centre For Cities told the London Assembly that business would shun the Royal Docks because it was too far from Central London.

The money would be the first major overseas investment from the company set up last year by the former head of the Minsheng bank with 50 billion yuan (£5.2billion) from a group of privately owned Chinese companies. CMI would become the majority investor in the project.

The announcement was witnessed by ABP’s chairman Xu Weiping who signed an agreement with Newham to develop the land in 2013.

Initially there were fears that the colourful businessman would be able to deliver such a large-scale scheme but the involvement of CMI looks set to seed the development team’s cash-flow demands.

He originally said that he would be looking for two-thirds of the £1billion price tag, funding the last third himself. Now it is unclear how large a stake ABP owns in the project although it was confirmed that he still retains a stake.

Chinese firms have been buying up property and development sites in London in order to diversify and hedge against a property downturn in their home market.

The project, which includes an Asian business park as well as homes and shops, aims to create 20,000 jobs and add £6billion to the London economy.