ADB, AIIB cooperate to meet infrastructure needs, says ADB chief economist

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-26 22:26:16|Editor: Yamei
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HONG KONG, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) can cooperate to meet Asia's infrastructure financing needs, ADB chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada said here on Tuesday.

Infrastructure needs in Asia and the Pacific are huge, standing at about 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars per year, and there is an infrastructure finance gap of 500 billion U.S. dollars per year, Sawada said.

Even if the ADB and the AIIB "put money together," it's not enough and thus it is necessary to mobilize public and private investment, he noted.

For example, public-private partnership (PPP) is one of the important instruments to motivate private investment, he said.

PPPs, if done right, have the potential to fill the region's huge infrastructure needs, leveraging the capabilities and resources of the private sector towards the common goal of sustainable development for all, Sawada said.

More measures should also be introduced to "make investing infrastructure in Asia attractive," he added.

Meanwhile, the AIIB focuses on "physical infrastructure investment," while the ADB has a quite large proportion of loans for social sector, like education and health, so the two are complementary to each other, he told Xinhua after a press briefing on an update of ADB flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2017.

The update report set Asia's growth to 5.9 percent in 2017, up from the April estimate of 5.7 percent.

Two decades have passed after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and Asia has learned lessons from the crisis, he said, adding that the ADB will have another report coming next month on Asian economic integration, with a chapter on economic resilience of Asia and its 20 years since the Asian financial crisis.

Established in 1966 and based in Manila, the ADB is owned by 67 members, 48 from the Asia-Pacific region.

Established in December 2015, the AIIB opened for business in January 2016 and currently has 80 members.