Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), opened the 50th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in Yokohama, Japan today, where 3,000 delegates are gathering to discuss initiatives for infrastructure and poverty reduction in Asia, with a warning on One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects.
At the opening news conference, Nakao signaled that cooperation with other multilateral institutions including the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is essential to developing financing for infrastructure development, but warned creditors on the costs of OBOR projects, reports Reuters.
Speaking on the AIIB, Nakao said, “We can cooperate because we have similar ideas. I discussed this issue with (Chinese Finance) Minister Xiao (Jie) and other senior officials of China, and we can cooperate.”
AIIB President Liqun Jin signed MoUs with the ADB in Frankfurt last May for the co-financing of three projects, including road projects in India and Pakistan. Some commentators portray the Chinese dominated AIIB and the Japanese dominated ADB as rivals who are vying for political and economic influence in Asia through development financing.
Dr. Joachim von Amsberg, AIIB’s Vice President, Policy and Strategy, will discuss the role of the AIIB and its future strategy with Asia House corporate members on 1 June.
The AIIB has a US$100bn fund for the financing of projects relating to the OBOR initiative in order to develop trade infrastructure such as ports and roads, whilst ADB invested US$27 billion in 2015 in a wide range of projects through specialist development funds and capital financing.
Asia’s infrastructure needs, estimated at $26 trillion by 2030, was the subject of a recent ABD report launched at a conference at Asia House last week.
The ADB meeting in Yokohama will be followed by the Belt and Road Summit in Beijing on 15 May, where the AIIB will further develop its regional infrastructure plans.