Business / Markets

ADB sees scope for cooperation with new lender

By Lan Lan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-24 07:23

The Asian Development Bank will consider cooperating with the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank while also sharpening its own competitive edge, Takehiko Nakao, president of the ADB, said on Thursday.

The establishment of the AIIB is "understandable", because financing needs for infrastructure in the region are very big, Nakao told reporters in Beijing. "If it's established, we're prepared to consider cooperation with the new bank."

With initial capital of $50 billion, the AIIB, proposed by China, will be officially launched on Friday, the Financial Times reported.

That has yet to be confirmed by the Chinese government.

Some have speculated that the new bank is meant to be a rival to the World Bank and the ADB, but Nakao said he is not "concerned".

"Chinese authorities have repeatedly explained it to me and I believe that the bank is not for competition with the ADB but to complement the role of ADB," he said.

However, he said that there is a misunderstanding that the ADB is for poverty elimination and the AIIB is for infrastructure support.

The majority of the ADB's loans are to finance infrastructure such as roads, railways and power facilities.

"In this regard, there's no difference," he said.

He said that the regional development bank, which is half-a-century old, will reform itself to improve its services and expand its lending capacity.

He said that the ADB's staff of some 3,000 people, with half having a high-level professional background, is a great asset for the bank.

"If a new bank is designed, it also should meet international standards," he said.

The ADB has 48 regional members and 19 member countries outside of Asia, including the United States, Canada and Germany.

The ADB does not have any position on choices by its member countries to join the AIIB, he said. "It's a decision by the country."

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