Odd couple: AIIB and ADB to jointly finance Pakistan highway
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) decided one of its first projects will be construction of a new major highway in Pakistan.
The 64-kilometre-long stretch of the M4 highway that will connect Shorkot to Khanewal in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The project also will be jointly financed with the Asia Development Bank (ADB). It will be the first project co-financed by these two policy banks, they announced at an ADB meeting in Germany on Monday.
Launched in January, the newly established, China-backed AIIB is expected to lend $10-15 billion a year for the first five or six years.
“I am delighted to take a further step forward in our partnership with ADB,” AIIB’s President Jin Liqun said in a statement on the bank’s website. “AIIB looks forward to deepening our already strong relationship and expanding our collaboration as we seek to address the significant infrastructure financing needs in the Asia Region.”
The M4 will connect with other highways to connect the cities of Faisalabad and Multan.
The AIIB listed the M4 project as its first “business opportunity” on its website on April 11 with an estimated project cost of $273 million. It said that ADB will be the lead co-financer and will administer the project on behalf of the other financing partners.
Over the past year, China and Pakistan have forged closer ties in order to build an economic corridor of energy and infrastructure projects that is worth an estimated $46 billion.