ISLAMABAD

Pakistan on Wednesday said that it would welcome the funding of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in multibillion Diamer Bhasha dam that has capacity of generating 4500 megawatt.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that consortium of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Development Bank could finance the Pakistan's much needed Diamer Bhasha dam. Pakistan had already initiated the mega project, as the land is being acquired for project while PC-1 has been approved by the ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council), he added.

Addressing a press conference along with President-designate AIIB Jin Liqun, the Finance Minister said that incumbent government had decided to simultaneously work on Diamer Bhasha dam and Dasu dam.

The Diamer Bhasha has two parts of water storage and producing 4500 megawatts when completed, Ishaq Dar told the media.

Pakistan is struggling to arrange finances for the Diamer Bhasha dam from last several years, as the project cost had already gone up from $9 billion in 2009 to $14 billion.

Speaking on the occasion, President-designate AIIB Jin Liqun said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would not only benefit Pakistan but the whole region.

He hoped that India would support the CPEC, as the project is for regional connectivity. He has expressed interest to finance infrastructure projects in Pakistan in energy, transport, seaport and urban development. He further said that Pakistan has a great potential in infrastructure sector, which will pave the way for sustainable economic development.

He said the bank is looking forward for closer cooperation with the country's public and private sector. The bank's officials will be visiting Pakistan very soon to discuss collaboration in different projects.

Jin Liqun has said that Pakistan has made great economic and social achievements during last two and half years, which is also appreciated by international rating agencies and financial institutions, he added. He went on saying that country's macroeconomic indicators have improved and foreign exchange reserves are currently three times higher than the level when incumbent government took charge in June 2013.

President-designate AIIB said that Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank would work with other banks including World Bank and Asian Development Bank for the infrastructure development of the region.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also briefed the media about Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which would be inaugurated in second quarter of 2016. As many as 57-countries had signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in June this year for AIIB. Pakistan was one of the 22-founding members.

The minister said Pakistan and Turkey were jointly forming constituency for the board of directors of the Bank in collaboration with other member states and agreed in principle to work together in a joint constituency in connection with AIIB. Ishaq Dar informed that besides Pakistan and Turkey; Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kyrgyztan had joined the constituency while Iran and Dubai had expressed their intention to join it.

He further said Pakistan would have two years of the directorship on the bank`s board, as agreed with Turkey, which would keep the slot for ten years. According to the country's GDP, Pakistan and Turkey are having 1.58 percent and 3.44 percent shareholding, respectively.

Ishaq Dar said there was no pre-condition of the AIIB to invest in CPEC because the project was finalised before the establishment of the bank.

Meanwhile, President-designate of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday that the bank is ready to assist Pakistan in infrastructure projects and other economically productive ventures in cost-efficient and effective manner.

Jin Liqun thanked the Prime Minister in his meeting in Islamabad for support of the Government of Pakistan and his personal support in establishing the AIIB bank, the PM office spokesman said. The bank is specifically established to assist the Asian countries, and that the majority of the shares of the bank are held by Asian countries.

“Pakistan is the first country of my visit after the establishment of the bank,” Liqun was quoted in a statement from the PM’s office as saying. He also appreciated the performance of Pakistan’s economic team for improving the economic outlook of the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that his government has invested a lot of resources in the energy and infrastructure projects with help of China and work on various projects has already been started.

The PMsaid that linking Pakistan with Central Asian States through a quality road network is government's priority as such Gawadar is also being upgraded as a modern sea port to provide access to the landlocked CARs.

He highlighted the government's economic policies and said that the economic mangers are committed and focused on providing favourable economic environment to the private sector. He said, “Pakistan’s economy is turning around and we have good economic growth rate.”