BEIJING - The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expressed willingness to invest $1 billion for the development of various projects in Pakistan, Laurel Ostfield, Head of Communications and Development at AIIB, told media delegation.

While speaking to journalists of South Asian and South East Asian countries attending Asian media workshop organized by People’s Daily, Tsinghua University and international department of CPC, Laurel said that AIIB, the multilateral development bank desired to bring countries together to address Asia’s daunting infrastructure funding gap estimated at $ 26 trillion through 2030.

She briefed the journalists about establishment of financial institution, its operational projects, and future plans.

She told that AIIB intends to improve economic and social development in Asia and beyond through a focus on sustainable infrastructure, cross-border connectivity and private capital mobilization.

The bank has gained the strong support from diversified global shareholder base having $ 100 billion capital stock with 20% assigned to paid-in capital, she added.

Adding she said the bank will help to mobilize much needed additional resources from inside and outside Asia and will complement the existing multilateral development banks.

She briefed that there are top five share holders of the bank including China, India, Russia, Germany and Korea with capital contributions of 30.69 %, 8.69%, 6.79 %, 4.66 % and 3.88 % respectively.

While briefing the projects related to Pakistan, she said AIIB will finance $ 160 million on Karachi Water and Sewerage Services Improvement project which will improve water and wastewater service delivery, build technical and managerial capacity, upgrade infrastructure, enhance service levels and expand services to Karachi residents.

AIIB will also finance $ 100 million on Karachi Bus Rapid Transit Project which will provide an efficient and sustainable public transport system in Karachi by delivering the city’s Red Line BLT corridor.

AIIB is also actively considering financing $ 402 million on Rawalpindi Ring Road Project which will build in the Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metro Area to improve road transport efficiency and improve economic activity.

She also briefed that AIIB will also finance $ 400 million on Lahore Water and Wastewater Management Project which will ensure a sustainable supply of safe water, reduce deteriorating environmental impacts due to untreated sewage disposal and strengthen institutional capacity of the Lahore Water and Sanitation Authority.

She went on to say that since its formation in 2015, AIIB has expanded rapidly from the original 57 founding member states to the current 87, with many of them coming from countries outside of Asia.

The bank has also received the highest credit ratings from the world’s three biggest rating agencies, Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, with its investment surpassing 4.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.

Three years after it was established, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) now has 87 member-states and 32 well-managed infrastructure projects, serving as an example of improving global economic governance, as well as promoting open trade and multilateralism, told head of communications department.

It may also be added that AIIB President Jin Liqun met Prime Minister Imran Khan during his recent visit to China in Beijing. Imran Khan underscored that several cooperation opportunities existed in Pakistan’s power generation and transmission, transport and water supply sectors, urging the AIIB president to explore the available avenues in those areas.

Jin had stated that the AIIB was committed to supporting projects in Pakistan. He assured the prime minister that the bank would actively engage with Pakistan in order to review project proposals and looked forward to playing its role in Pakistan’s economic development while upholding shared principles of openness, transparency, independence and accountability. It was also agreed to expedite disbursements for projects in the pipeline.