Potential Projects in Nepal
The AIIB is interested in investing in two of five infrastructure projects proposed by Nepal. Under the Urban Infrastructure Investment Project, Nepal hopes to develop infrastructure in 18 municipalities. The AIIB could also help fund the Nepal Distribution System Upgrading and Extension Project which aims to improve electricity distribution in areas with high demand. Due to lack of preparedness by Nepal, project areas and loan amounts are still yet to be determined. The other three projects proposed by Nepal include a hydropower, storage, and road upgradation and extension.
Natural Gas - Bangladesh
The AIIB is expected to lend $60 million towards a project in Bangladesh aimed towards boosting natural gas production and expanding transmission infrastructure. This loan will be managed by the Asian Development Bank who is providing a $167 million loan to the project which is valued at $453 million in total. This project will be the second to be cofinanced by the AIIB and ADB.
AIIB's VP Claims Consistency with the SDG's
AIIB's VP, Danny Alexander, reaffirmed that the AIIB has a solid governance structure and is not being influenced by world politics. The AIIB has recently been questioned about whether they will be influenced by the larger countries that are members, such as India. India has requested that the AIIB invest in coal fueled energy projects in the country. Alexander responded that the AIIB's projects would maintain a high standard of environmental regulation and would be consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Collaboration with World Bank
Michael Kerf, the head of the Pacific division of the World Bank said he would welcome working with the AIIB in the Pacific region. However, he does not believe that the AIIB would have a focus on the region in the near future since it is focusing on large scale infrastructure projects. Kerf also said that the AIIB has previously expressed interest in cofinancing projects and anticipates a strong partnership between the two.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has reaffirmed interest in the Philippines joining the AIIB. Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has said that they are “ready to subscribe” this year and next year. Philippine participation in the AIIB has also been approved by the previous administration. “The indicative paid-in capital of the Philippines is 196 million US dollars, payable in five years or 39 million US dollars per annum.”(XinHua)
Canada Applies to Join
Canada has applied to join the AIIB, which is seen as a potential rival to the Western oriented World Bank. AIIB President Jin Liqun believes that Canada’s involvement will “greatly strengthen the management of this institution.” Joining the AIIB will strengthen Canada’s relations with China, who is already Canada’s second largest trading partner and major investor. President Jin Liqun also mentioned that “We can see that the US’s attitude towards AIIB is showing signs of changing, as it’s encouraging the World Bank to cooperate more with the AIIB.”
IN OTHER NEWS....
The AIIB recently released an updated chart of members states, total contributions, and bank capital. Follow the link HERE to access the webpage.