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AIIB will bridge infrastructure financing gap in Asia: Pakistan

Ishaq Dar

Beijing:  China-led USD 100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will become an important forum to bridge an infrastructure financing gap in Asia to help regional economies achieve stable and sustainable growth, according to Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Dar signed the articles of agreement of AIIB along with India and 48 other countries here yesterday. Seven more countries were expected to sign the agreement after ratification by their national legislatures.

The articles of agreement have been concluded through extensive consultations among founding members “in a democratic way,” Dar told state-run Global Times.

He rebutted reports that China is seeking a dominant role in the bank. “I don’t think there is any such indication, to be honest,” he said.

He said important decisions require a majority of at least 75 per cent of votes and approval of two-thirds of all member countries.

China has 26.06 per cent of the voting rights in the bank, so it is unlikely to monopolise the decision-making, nor is this China’s will, he said, adding that China is open to negotiations and will coordinate with other founding members.

The bank estimated that Asia will need USD eight trillion from 2010 to 2020 for infrastructure investment in fields such as energy, transportation, telecommunication, water and sanitation, but the region is facing a gap between great demand and inadequate capital supply.

“The AIIB is especially created to serve the needs of infrastructure funding in the region,” he said.

As a country which is in dire need of infrastructure investment, Dar said that Pakistan hoped to draw financing support for communications and energy infrastructure projects including projects for construction of roads, dams and power generation, and Pakistan will continue to fully participate in the decision-making process of the AIIB.

The AIIB is designed to finance infrastructure construction in the continent. The AIIB, which will have billions of dollars to lend, is expected to go into operation later this year.

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