China-backed AIIB eyes US$1 billion infrastructure push in India

  Mar.5--THE president of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Jin Liqun, says India's backlog of infrastructure projects and institutional capability means it has more' "shovel-ready" projects to fund than any other South Asian country.

  The AIIB, a multilateral investment bank proposed by China that started operations in 2016, has already approved funding for roughly US$1 billion worth of projects in India and considering around $1 billion more.

  That includes a $200 million investment in New Delhi's National Infrastructure Investment Fund, said Mr Jin, who steers the bank's $100 billion in registered capital, reported Bloomberg.

  Said Mr Jin: "It's quite natural for this bank to have a large exposure to India. The need is there, and institutional capability of India is higher than other countries. So, it's easier for India to be ready to provide us with shovel-ready projects to finance."

  India is the bank's biggest borrower and the focus has been on rural roads, mass transit and power projects. The bank is currently proposing to fund a metro rail system in Mumbai, rural road construction in the state of Madhya Pradesh, and irrigation and flood control projects in West Bengal.

  However, Mr Jin said the bank would like to seek a better investment balance across South and Southeast Asia. "the bank should look at a more balanced lending programme", he said, noting work was ongoing in other South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It takes longer to develop a pipeline, to have shovel-ready projects.

  He didn't rule out the idea that the AIIB could jointly fund projects that are part of China's global infrastructure-building Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which might put India, the AIIB's second-largest shareholder, in an awkward position.

  New Delhi has objected to China's BRI because it funds infrastructure in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which India claims as its own sovereign territory. China currently has planned investments of more than $50 billion in Pakistan, India's arch-rival.


©2001-2013 Shanghai Shipping Exchange All Rights Reserved. Copyright Declaration Contact us
Shanghai ICP B2-20050110