The Belt and Road

ADB president willing to engage in BRI projects, sees AIIB as partner

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a reasonable proposal to boost inter-connectivity and regional development, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao said Tuesday, adding that the bank was willing to cooperate if there was a good project.

Wrapping up his three-day visit to China, Nakao said cooperation between the ADB and China had been “constructive” over the last three decades, not only for the development of China, but also for other regional countries via knowledge sharing.

The BRI, he said, inherited great ideas from ancient China dating back to such dynasties as the Han and Tang.

“It’s created to boost inter-connectivity. It’s reasonable and understandable,” Nakao said. “If there is a good project, we can surely cooperate.”

He said some ADB initiatives may overlap with the BRI, thus making it only natural that relevant parties collaborate and cooperate in those projects.

During his stay in China, Nakao held talks with several Chinese ministers, including finance minister Liu Kun, and Li Ganjie, minister of ecology and environment. He also met with Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

They discussed cooperation in such fields as Yangtze River Economic Belt and reducing air pollution in the Greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Reaffirming ADB’s commitment to China, Nakao said the multilateral development bank would continue supporting China in climate change mitigation and adaptation, governance and capacity building, and knowledge sharing on environmental management.

Meanwhile, he said ADB’s lending to China would continue to focus on strengthening policies and institutions, climate change and the environment, and support for global and regional public goods.

The scope and focus of ADB’s lending program to China over 2021-2025 will be discussed in the context of the ADB-PRC Country Partnership Strategy, which will be prepared next year, he said.

Nakao hailed the “stronger-than-expected” growth by China in the first quarter of 2019, and said: “I expect that private consumption and service sector will continue to provide growth momentum to the economy.”

Speaking of President of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun, who he met Tuesday morning, Nakao said they two were friends and the two multilateral development banks were partners.

So far, ADB and AIIB have cooperated on five projects, Nakao said, and the two multilateral development banks have decided to cooperate more in the future.

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