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BOJ governor: AIIB positive for infrastructure development in Asia

By Xinhua | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-04 07:46

TOKYO - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this week that the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is playing a positive role in the development of infrastructure in the region.

Kuroda, a former Asian Development Bank chief, said in a speech on Tuesday that in terms of infrastructure development in Asia, there was room for more than just the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

"It's simply not possible for the ADB and the World Bank to fill the gap completely in infrastructure development in Asia," The BOJ chief said in Yokohama.

He also noted that healthy competition among various players is a positive sign for infrastructure development and economic growth.

BOJ governor: AIIB positive for infrastructure development in Asia

Kuroda was speaking at a gathering ahead of the 50th annual meeting of the ADB later this week.

The ADB currently comprises 67 member states and regions and has extended loans worth billions of dollars to developing countries.

The AIIB, however, while not including Japan or the United States, has 70 members, with the bank poised to make significant inroads into regional infrastructural development projects.

During his speech, Kuroda called on policy makers to ensure that households and businesses have access to financial services, stating that this is key to poverty reduction in Asia.

He also said that removing existing barriers that are currently preventing financial inclusiveness is of paramount importance to reducing poverty.

Kuroda said that information and communication technology will continue to play a large part in the development of Asia by way of helping financial inclusion mechanisms to expand.

Kuroda said that economic growth in Asia specifically over the last 50 years has been key to driving down poverty.

Meanwhile, the AIIB said on Wednesday that it has approved a loan of $160 million to finance a power project in India. The project, cofinanced with the World Bank, is part of the Indian government's 24x7 Power for All program and will strengthen the power transmission and distribution system in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

AIIB President Jin Liqun praised the multilateral development bank's close work with India, AIIB's second-largest shareholder, in energy and other infrastructure sectors.

"AIIB supports its members in their transition toward a low-carbon energy mix by promoting the improvement of energy efficiency, such as upgrading the existing transmission and distribution networks," he said.

(China Daily 05/04/2017 page12)

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