Singaporean prime minister invites China to increase their involvement in the region. He went a step further to claim that the US has become a "benign force", seemingly in order to encourage China's advancement.
Foreign Private Investors or Development Institutions?
Infrastructure needs are growing into a top priority for many nations in Southeast Asia. In fact, Vietnam is making great strides in order to meet it's infrastructure needs, while governments in countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines are putting the issue of addressing the infrastructure gap on their political agendas and re-election campaigns.
The question is brought up as to "how much of this will be done by foreign private investors and how much by the new development institutions on the regional landscape led by China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative" as mentioned in the article by project finance head of HSBC, James Cameron.
Controversy around China's Silk Road Initiative Persists
China's silk road initiative has touched more than 60 countries and invested billions of dollars into infrastructure development in these countries. Critics have accused China of investing in these foreign countries in order to build markets for them to expand into. China has responded to these criticisms by stating that the movement has been inclusive from that start.
Bangladesh is building a 6.15 km bridge on the Padma River which will cost $3 billion. The "Dream Bridge" is one of the key projects behind Bangladesh's goal of being an middle-income economy by 2021 and developed by 2041. This development effort is led by the AIIB which has committed a capital of $100 billion for similar projects.
China's President Xi Jinping's visit to Bangladesh shows growing economic ties as well as the partnership between the two countries in the "quest to reach new markets." China is behind the recent AIIB which is behind many projects in Asia worth millions of dollars. Bangladesh is turning to China to cover deficits faced because of the position they are in financially.
Potential Projects in Philippines
The Philippines wants to formally join the AIIB before President Duterte's trip to China this week. This involves an international treaty that needs to go through senate ratification. If approved, President Duterte has many infrastructure projects in mind to implement during his term in office.