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Indian Prime Minister Urges China-led AIIB to Tenfold Financing in Two-years In the third Annual General Meeting in Mumbai, AIIB President Jim Liqun calls for support of open economies from the member countries

By Komal Nathani

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The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank held its two-day Annual General Meeting in Mumbai, India to discuss the plan of action for this year.

Considering the huge needs of infrastructure development in Asian countries, the President of AIIB, Jim Liqun said on Monday that the bank will lend $3.4 billion to India, Turkey, Bangladesh and Egypt for projects aimed at strategically connecting Asia and Africa.

Launched in 2016, the multilateral institution AIIB has approved $4.4 billion loans applied by its member countries. Despite the rivalry between India and China, China based AIIB has approved $1.21 billion loan of India. Secretary of Economic Affairs, Subhash Chandra Garg said, "India is the second largest stakeholder among all the Asian countries, after China."

President of AIIB Liqun said, "The bank will particularly work with private sector and local government to meet the infrastructure needs of the Asian countries."

"As developing countries increase their share of the world economy, they should have greater weight in multilateral institutions. But with greater weight comes a responsibility to support and take a lead role in reforming and financing them", said Liqun.

Indian PM Urges to Increase Lending Tenfold

Referring India as one of the fastest growing economies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged to increase the lending tenfold within two years to help India reach its investment needs faster.

PM called upon AIIB to expand its financing from USD 4 billion to 40 billion by 2020, and by 100 billion by 2025.

"AIIB is surely going to play a critical role in Asia; Investments by AIIB in sustainable infrastructure can impact the lives of billions of people," said Indian PM at the AGM in Mumbai today.

In a span of two-years, the Chinese bank has approved about 25 projects of a dozen countries so far. Out of which six projects of India has been approved, while another six are in the pipeline. Some of the major projects include a Mumbai subway line, irrigation and flood management projects in West Bengal, and rural roads and city development for Amravati, the new state capital of Telangana in the southern India.

Protectionism in Trade Policy – a Threat to Faster Development

While speaking at the forum in AGM, Liqun also expressed his concerns over growing protectionism in the world by the developed economies. The comments have come amid the growing trade war between US and China, which is impacting the Asian markets largely.

He said as globalization comes under threat, a key task of governments is to ensure that the benefits of trade are widely spread so that it helps the losers adjust and become winners.

"Unfortunately, protectionism practiced by some countries is likely to dim the prospects for all countries, including themselves," Jin told the opening ceremony of the third annual meeting of the AIIB board of governors in Mumbai today.

"We must strive to preserve those features which spread the benefits, and we must rejuvenate and rethink those systems which may be weakening to find a path forward in the 21st century, which is the Asian century," Jin added.

He also said that by 2030, Asia's investment in infrastructure will rise to USD 2 trillion annually.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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