AIIB committed to investing in Nepal’s infra: Chief

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 3, 2017-

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expressed its commitment to work with the Nepal government and Nepali private sector to make a meaningful difference in the country’s economic and social development through investment in infrastructure and other productive sectors. 

Addressing the inaugural session of Nepal Investment Summit 2017, AIIB President Jin Liqun said the bank has an important role to play in teaming up with the government and the private sector to address infrastructure challenges of Nepal.

“In Nepal, we will invest in projects that are financially sustainable and environmentally friendly, and are accepted by the local people,” said Liqun. “As a multilateral development bank, a part of our job is to help countries pick projects which improve their social and economic outcomes.”

Liqun assured AIIB’s help to tap natural resources for the benefit of the Nepali people. Currently, Nepal has submitted proposals for five infrastructure projects to AIIB for possible financing. The list includes two energy projects, two road projects and one urban infrastructure project. 

Sharada-Babai Hydropower Project, a storage type project planned to be built on the Babai and Sharada rivers, and Nepal Distribution System Upgrading and Extension Project which aims to modernise the electricity distribution system of Nepal Electricity Authority, are energy-related projects on the list. 

Pokhara-Beni Jomsom Road Upgradation and Samakhusi-Tokha-Chhahare Road Upgradation and Extension Project are two road projects for which Nepal has sought funds from the multilateral lender. 

The fifth scheme is Urban Infrastructure Improvement Project which aims to improve infrastructure in 18 districts in Tarai by upgrading facilities in 18 municipalities which serve as district headquarters.

India also reiterated its commitment to partner Nepal in its aspirations for economic growth by attracting foreign investment. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, speaking at the summit, suggested Nepal to make its environment favourable for international investors.

According to Jaitley, Investors from all over the world are looking at areas to invest, and countries that make their environment friendly assuring safety of and return on investment will be the recipient of investment.

“If an investment along with creating jobs generates profit, it will encourage others to make investment which will create more jobs,” Jaitley explained the virtuous cycle of how an investment attracts another investment. “Such investment and return on investment will increase the government revenue which can be used to build the infrastructure.”

Such infrastructure, according to the Indian finance minister will attract more investment creating more employment and prosperity. He urged the government to welcome any investment if it increases economic activity, creates job and develops infrastructure. “What should matter is construction of infrastructure and its contribution towards economy, not who builds its,” he said. 

Jaitley also expressed Indian interest in investing in sectors like hydropower, rail network, irrigation, health and education, transmission lines and road, among others.

Published: 03-03-2017 09:27

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