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September 12, 2017

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Pakistan seeks multi-billion dollar loans from China-based AIIB for uplift projects

Pakistan seeks multi-billion dollar loans from China-based AIIB for uplift projects

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has tabled lists of development projects for seeking multi-billion dollars loans from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) including for infrastructure, hydropower and installing smart meters in Pakistan.

A three member delegation of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) led by Vice President DJ Pandian called on Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Monday.

The official announcement confirms that the AIIB delegation is visiting Pakistan currently to explore opportunities for investment in different areas.AIIB Vice President stated that Pakistan has been an active member of the Bank and was also selected to be the recipient of the first financing by AIIB. He said that the projects presented by Pakistan for future financing include a number of very important projects and the Bank would like to finance some of them based on further discussion with the relevant officials. He said the visit of AIIB Board of Directors (BOD) to Pakistan will also give both the sides an opportunity to discuss various matters in greater detail. The minister said that the government looks forward to the visit of the BOD.

Official sources told The News after the meeting that they told the visiting delegation of AIIB that Pakistan required total investment to the tune of $ 55 billion for complete overhauling of transmission and distribution system of cash-bleeding power sector in Pakistan. The country is now exploring different options including getting assistance from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for placing Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for all 21 million consumers with total estimated cost of $7.4 billion.

Some portion of this cost has been currently providing by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as they approved loan of $300 million and AIIB high-ups held official meetings with Pakistani team on Monday for getting detailed briefings about the future requirements for investment purposes.

“We have apprised the AIIB that Pakistan is looking for getting investment for metering system known as AMI,” said the official. The AIIB is also providing loan for Tarbela-V going to add additional 1410 MW electricity in years to come.

Talking to the delegation the minister said Pakistan is among the founding members of AIIB and has been a strong supporter of the idea of establishment of another multilateral institution to complement the efforts of the existing institutions, in the Asian region. He said the Asian region faced a huge deficit in infrastructure and required substantial investments to fill the gaps.

He appreciated AIIB’s co-financing for M-4 Gojra-Shorkot Motorway and Tarbela-V Hydropower Project in Pakistan. He described it as a good beginning in Pak-AIIB cooperation. He said Pakistan eagerly looks forward to forging a strong partnership with AIIB aimed at strengthening efforts for infrastructure development.Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance attended the meeting.

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