AIIB likely to raise financing to Bangladesh

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank acting vice-president Rajat Misra pays a courtesy call on Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at his secretariat office in Dhaka 5 March in 2024

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is likely to raise its financing to Bangladesh in the coming years while the country is likely to be the first nation to receive climate finance from the multilateral development bank.

“We don’t have any limits on our lending to Bangladesh right now. We can definitely take it up substantially and that was also my request to the finance minister,” said AIIB acting vice-president Rajat Misra while replying to a query from a newsperson after he made a courtesy call on Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at his secretariat office in Dhaka Tuesday.

Noting that Bangladesh is the fifth largest borrower of AIIB with approvals around US$3.5 billion, Misra said: “We’re primarily an infrastructure finance bank. So, we also want to be a partner of Bangladesh’s development in infrastructure. Because, the country is developing infrastructures at a rapid pace with a new metrorail line commissioned. So, we definitely would like to do more.”

Secondly, he said, they are also working on some critical areas like climate finance. “So, we’re putting together a policy on climate finance. And again with Bangladesh, we’re discussing an advanced stage on one project and that would be the first project to be approved by the AIIB on climate finance. So, we’re having a very valuable partnership with Bangladesh in both ways.”

Replying to another question, the AIIB acting vice-president said, “We’re putting in place our policy and also working on the projects simultaneously. We hope in the next three months, there will be something....”

Finance Minister Mahmood Ali said the government is very happy that the AIIB has the investments and lending policy that suits the requirements of Bangladesh. “They (AIIB) are also happy and they’re very close to us … We’re happy that they are in a position to help us,” he added.

Replying to a question, Ali said the AIIB has assured the government that whatever project would be placed before them, they would find a way out to support it.

Finance division secretary M Khairuzzaman Mozumder said the AIIB wants to be involved more in the infrastructure sector of Bangladesh.

Besides, he informed that the government also sought support from the AIIB in the budget support programme.

“The AIIB vice-president has informed us that support will come in climate finance and Bangladesh would be the first country to receive climate finance from the AIIB.” the finance secretary added.