Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao said on Thursday the Manila-based multilateral bank is willing to cooperate with China and Chinese finance organizations on future projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Nakao said in a press conference that the ancient silk road and maritime silk road were formed centuries ago and once connected Asia with Europe and Africa.
“(The ancient silk road and maritime silk) were over the continents and over the sea, and there were so many Chinese, Arabian, Indians along there,” Nakao said.
Describing BRI as a “very good concept and idea”, Nakao said the initiative has enhanced the connectivity of infrastructure and trade in this region and beyond.
Nakao told Xinhua that ADB can cooperate with China on the projects under the BRI.
The BRI, proposed by China in 2013, aims at enhancing all-around connectivity through infrastructure construction, exploring new driving force for the world economic growth, and building a new platform for world economic cooperation.
So far, some 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed cooperation documents on BRI with China.
The total trade volume between China and BRI participating countries surpassed 6 trillion U.S. dollars and the investment exceeds 8 million U.S. dollars in the 2013-2018 period, according to China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
On the collaboration with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the ADB president said the two major multilateral banks already cofinanced five projects and benefited the region.
“We are very happy to cofinance (these projects) and we have firmed up an agreement (on how to go about the cofinancing),” Nakao said, stressing the need that the projects are up to the standards like social and environmental impact. “And I think AIIB pays well attention to these set of standards,” Nakao said.
The ADB and the AIIB signed an agreement in this March named the Cofinancing Framework Agreement For Sovereign Operations that will guide overall cofinancing arrangements between the two institutions going forward, including regular meetings to discuss cofinancing matters.
Nakao said ADB and AIIB have a long list of future cofinancing collaboration. “It’s a more mature cooperation so you can tell how serious we are.”
ADB and AIIB signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Strengthening Cooperation in May 2016.