by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Nov 26, 2014
The head of the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday he is ready to work with China on a new infrastructure investment bank proposed by Beijing, despite fears it could undermine his institution.
The Manila-based ADB is too large and established to be threatened by the proposed lender, Takehiko Nakao told a foreign correspondents' forum in the Philippines.
"If the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) is established, we are very happy to have the appropriate collaboration," Nakao said, adding the banks could potentially co-finance projects.
Last month China and 20 other Asian countries signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the AIIB, an institution whose development has been driven by China and which will be based in Beijing, according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
However the proposed lender is seen as a potential rival to existing Western- and Japanese-dominated institutions such as the World Bank and the ADB.
The Japanese government has expressed concern, while the United States is reportedly fiercely opposed to the AIIB, which some analysts see as a venue to expand Chinese influence at their expense.
Nakao stressed there had been "no contact" yet between the ADB and the AIIB, although Chinese officials had discussed the matter with him when he was in Beijing.
He added that it was "understandable" that Asian countries would want such an institution because of the region's huge need for infrastructure financing.
He said Asia needed $800 billion a year in funding for infrastructure, particularly for energy and ports. Of the 20 other countries that signed the AIIB memorandum, only India and Singapore are considered large economies.
However Nakao stressed that the ADB had always been active in infrastructure, even as it also supports social services as part of its mission of poverty-reduction.
"The ADB's focus has always been infrastructure," he said.
"China has always been very supportive of the ADB so Chinese authorities have been saying (the AIIB) will be complementing and supporting the work of the ADB instead of challenging and going to be a rival," he added.
"There is no real issue about it. We can work with the Chinese authorities and the new bank if they do regional cooperation," he said.
Despite its rapid economic growth, China still needed the ADB's help in areas such as environmental protection, he said.
ADB officials later told AFP the lender was supporting a project to revive an overland "silk road" between China and Europe via Central Asia and the southern Caucasus in support of regional cooperation.
China is also proposing a "maritime silk road" link to Europe that goes through Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean states.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|