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AIIB may invest $200 mn in India's sovereign wealth fund, says Jin

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is likely to invest around USD 200 million in India's first sovereign wealth fund NIIF, AIIB president Jin Liqun said here today.

Beijing-based AIIB, which started functioning in 2016, has committed over USD 1 billion in five infrastructure projects in India and proposes to take up 12 more, envisaging assistance of USD 3.5 billion.

Talking to PTI, Jin said the bank will focus on funding infrastructure projects in road, energy and transport sectors.

"We are working on some other projects also. For instance, the Indian government attaches importance to NIIF, the initial fund might be USD 1 billion, we may be chipping in USD 200 million," he said.

The government had set up the Rs 40,000-crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) in December 2016 as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects.

It was envisioned as a mother fund with several sectoral feeder funds.

The projects being funded by AIIB in India include Bangalore Metro Rail Project, Transmission System Strengthening Project, Gujarat Rural Road Project and Power Project in Andhra Pradesh.

Jin is in India in view of the upcoming 3rd Annual General Meeting of the AIIB which is to be held in Mumbai on June 25-26.

The AIIB chief yesterday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who asked the bank to showcase and demonstrate successful projects.

"We had very good meeting with the prime minister. We discussed the broad issues of cooperation between AIIB and India. And I told the prime minister I am very much pleased to see India as the second largest shareholder of AIIB. India is playing a very important role in the running of the bank," he said.

AIIB, he said will continue to support India's infrastructure sector, especially in helping reduce the traffic congestion and increasing rural connectivity.

As of December 31, 2017, AIIB's board has approved 24 projects with a total amount of USD 4.23 billion in 14 member countries, including up to USD 1.07 billion in funding of five projects in India.

Earlier, addressing the curtain raiser ceremony of AIIB's 3rd annual conference, Jin said India is the second largest shareholder in AIIB and the country has been playing very important role in running the multilateral bank.

India holds 7.74 per cent equity in the multilateral bank, next only to China (29.9 per cent).

Noting that infrastructure sector was the highest priority in the India's Budget for 2018-19, he said, "We want to meet infrastructure investments requirements of India by using innovative ways".

"We want best use of our investments to stimulate India's infrastructure development," Jin added.

The AIIB president said that the multilateral bank has recruited best talent across the world, adding, "We are now interested in recruiting professionals from India.

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First Published: Feb 27 2018 | 7:15 PM IST

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