AIIB president speaks highly of the bank’s cooperation with India
Published: Jul 29, 2020 01:48 AM

Photo: AIIB

The president of the  Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Jin Liqun, who was re-elected for a second term at the bank's annual general meeting, told a press conference on Tuesday that the AIIB has enjoyed very good cooperation with India and expects the country to implement its planned infrastructure projects.

Jin said the recent China-India border clashes were not a factor in the AIIB's approval of a $750-million loan to India to aid its COVID-19 response. He said that as AIIB is a multilateral development bank, the loan was based on its economics and financial structure. 

"We have enjoyed very, very good cooperation with India from the very beginning… India has played a role on the board and in many other areas," he said. 

The AIIB approved the $750-million loan to India on June 17, to assist the government to strengthen its response to the adverse impacts on millions of poor and vulnerable households caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Co-financed with the Asian Development Bank, the support will go toward bolstering economic aid for Indian businesses, including the informal sector, expanding social safety nets for the needy, and strengthening the country's health care systems.

Jin said he expects the country to value both the containment of the coronavirus and the implementation of infrastructure projects. 

The AIIB's website lists loans to India for multiple road, railway and urban subway projects with proposed budgets of well over a billion US dollars. 

"Under the current circumstances, we certainly have to mainly deal with the containment of COVID-19, but at the same time, we should not lose sight of the importance of implementing the infrastructure projects to the extent possible," he noted. 

"We hope by containing the virus, we can go back to the normal infrastructure projects as much as possible," Jin added.

Showing recognition and confidence in India's capacity for implementation of the projects, he said the bank is working with local Indian governments to try to push forward the continued implementation of the infrastructure projects. 

"I think India could set a very good example on how this country can combat the COVID-19, and at the same time continue with the basic infrastructure projects," the bank's president said. 

India has emerged as the top borrower from AIIB as well as the top receiver of the COVID-19 related relief funds.