ISLAMABAD - The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Monday expressed willingness to finance some projects presented to the bank by Pakistan.

"The projects presented by Pakistan for future financing include a number of very important projects and the bank would like to finance some of them based on further discussion with the relevant officials,” said Vice President, D J Pandian, who was leading a three-member delegation that called on Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Monday.

AIIB Vice President stated that Pakistan had been an active member of the Bank and was also selected to be the recipient of the first financing by AIIB. He said that the visit of AIIB Board of Directors (BOD) to Pakistan would also give both the sides an opportunity to discuss various matters in greater detail.

On the occasion, the minister said that the government looked forward to the visit of the BOD, according to press statement issued by the ministry.

The Minister said Pakistan was among the founding members of AIIB and had been a strong supporter of the idea of establishment of another multilateral institution to complement the efforts of the existing institutions, in the Asian region.

He said that the Asian region faced a huge deficit in infrastructure and required substantial investments to fill the gaps.

He appreciated AIIB's co-financing for M-4 Gojra-Shorkot Motorway and Tarbela -V Hydropower Project in Pakistan. He described it as a good beginning in Pak-AIIB cooperation, adding that Pakistan eagerly looked forward to forging a strong partnership with AIIB aimed at strengthening efforts for infrastructure development.

The delegation was visiting Pakistan currently to explore opportunities for investment in different areas.

SAUDI AMBASSADOR

CALLS ON ISHAQ DAR

Meanwhile, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki called on Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar here on Monday.

They discussed Pakistan-Saudi cooperation in various areas with particular focus on economic relations.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are tied by strong bonds of friendship and brotherhood and enjoy an all round cooperative partnership. He said that people of Pakistan hold Saudi Arabia in the highest esteem. He said the government is keen to further strengthen the bilateral relations by increasing cooperation in the economic sphere.

Ambassador Maliki said that it would be his endeavor to further increase the cooperation between the two sides with particular emphasis on economic and trade ties. The minister said Pakistan highly values Saudi cooperation for development projects in Pakistan. He offered full cooperation and support to the Ambassador in his efforts to increase the quantum of economic activity between the two sides.