ADB, AIIB to make debut co-investments

The two multilateral lenders have formed a tie-up to develop projects in Asian emerging markets, with Pakistan set to be the first port of call.

The Tokyo-led Asian Development Bank and Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding that sets the stage for their first joint investments in infrastructure projects. 

The two lenders have started talks to co-finance projects in the road and water sectors, the first of which is expected to be Pakistan’s M4, a 64km stretch of motorway connecting Shorkot to Khanewal in the Punjab Province. 

The tender document for this project has been drafted to recognise ADB as the lead financing partner and project administrator on behalf of other co-financiers, according to reports. 

It is understood that the AIIB’s first projects also include a road project in Tajikistan and a ring road in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 

Neither AIIB nor ADB could be reached for comment before press time.

Through co-financing pledges, information sharing and co-ordination efforts with member countries, ADB and AIIB intend to extend their partnership to areas including energy, transportation, telecommunications, rural and urban development, water and environmental protection, they said in a statement. 

They will undertake regular high-level consultations and joint data collection to promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the COP21 climate agreement.

“AIIB looks forward to deepening our already strong relationship and expanding our collaboration as we seek to address the significant infrastructure financing needs in the Asia region,” said Liqun Jin, the bank’s president.

ADB leveraged a record $10.74 billion in co-financing in 2015, according to the bank’s annual report. The co-financing figure includes $6.17 billion, which it says is the highest amount it has ever raised through partnerships with bilateral and multilateral organisations, foundations, corporations and other funds. 

The $100 billion AIIB is also working with the Washington-based World Bank to provide a joint $1.2 billion in financing to infrastructure projects across Asia this year.