FE Today Logo

AIIB likely to finance four more projects

Mir Mostafizur Rahaman back from Beijing | November 12, 2018 00:00:00

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has so far invested US$ 274 million in three projects in Bangladesh and is now considering funding four more projects.

"We have invested in three projects in Bangladesh of which $49 million is for Bhola independent power producer, $60 million for natural gas infrastructure and efficiency improvement project and $165 million for distribution system upgrade project," Laurel Ostfield, Head of Communications and Development of AIIB, told the FE recently.

Talking to this correspondent at the AIIB headquarters in Beijing, she said since its inception three years ago, AIIB has invested $6.4 billion in 14 countries.

India tops the list of the borrowers of this bank established by China. It took $1.8 billion loan from AIIB. Turkey with $800 million and Indonesia with $700 million have ranked the second and third among the 14 borrowing countries while Bangladesh's position is 8th.

Ostfield insists that AIIB is not a Chinese bank. "There is a misconception that China is taking all the decisions here. But this is not true. All the shareholders and members of the bank are responsible for running this bank."

About the AIIB's focus on Bangladesh, she said expansion of electricity coverage and fuel development and meeting the countries' growing power demand were the priorities while considering loan for Bangladesh.

"Assistance for the power sector is vital as approximately 76 per cent of Bangladeshis have access to power," she added.

AIIB is investing to improve gas production efficiency and expand gas transmission pipeline capacity to help fuel the economic growth and poverty reduction, Ostfield said.

She also mentioned that AIIB is helping Bangladesh in addressing power shortage by increasing power generation by around 1,300 gigawatt-hours annually. She told that AIIB is considering providing loan for four more projects such as Mymensingh Kewatkhali Bridge project, Sylhet-Tamabil Road Upgradation project, Power System Upgrade and Expansion project and Municipal Water Supply and Sanitation project.

Responding to a question, she said AIIB has been maintaining cooperation with other development banks like Asian Development Bank to help achieve their common goals to enhance infrastructure development and regional connectivity.

She said AIIB has now only 190 staffers of which 40 are engaged in investment processing. "This is a new bank and right now we don't have that much staff, but we are on way to meet all these limitations," she noted.

[email protected]

Share if you like