KUALA LUMPUR: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expressed interest in funding Malaysian infrastructure projects that will provide externalities for the nation’s neighbouring countries.
AIIB president Jin Liqun said sectors that had greatest demand for infrastructure financing and investments in Malaysia are energy and transportation.
“Potential infrastructure projects for the energy sector are power generation, power transmission and power distribution,” he said at a briefing held during the World Capital Markets Symposium 2018.
“In line with the increased migration of Malaysia’s population from rural to urban areas, there is also a need to strengthen investments in transportation such as roads, expressways, rural roads, rail, airports and seaports,” he added.
Jin noted that infrastructure investments in Malaysia had been progressing well and that the Government had done a great job in maintenance for infrastructure projects.
The improvement in living standards of the Asean population would see increasing demand for transportation, power and urban facilities, he said.
Jin highlighted the importance of solid waste and water treatment, noting that while the progress of infrastructure building in Asean is impressive, there is still room for improvement to meet the increasing demand from the population.
“I had a fruitful discussion with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister this morning, both of whom expressed strong support for AIIB. I look forward to future collaborations between AIIB and the Malaysian government and private sector.
“We hope Malaysian companies or consultancy firms will actively participate in international competitive bids, as there are companies in Malaysia that are good in infrastructure investments,” said Jin.
AIIB is a multilateral institution founded to bring countries together to address the daunting infrastructure needs across Asia.
The bank commenced operations in January 2016 with 84 members globally and has funded US$4.23bil (RM16.55bil) worth of projects to date.
China is the initiator of AIIB, and the largest shareholder in the bank with a 30% stake.
Jin explains that to mobilise resources for the infrastructure of AIIB’s member countries, particularly low and middle-income countries, China only borrows funds from AIIB in moderate amounts.
In addition, these funds are for the improvement of border connectivity between China and its neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Laos and Afghanistan.