The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is to co-finance two infrastructure projects in the Philippines.
The China-backed development bank is to contribute loans to a flood management project on the Manila metro system and a rapid transit bus system in the Filipino capital.
The loan amounts are yet to be revealed, but the AIIB’s participation has been confirmed by the Filipino government. The metro project is running at a total cost of 23.46bn pesos (about US$470mn), while the bus network is to cost around 37.6bn pesos (approximately US$754mn).
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to partner on the transit system, while the World Bank is to co-finance the flood management system.
The detail was confirmed by finance secretary Carlos Dominguez after a meeting with AIIB president Jin Liqun.
The agreements follow swiftly on the heels of the Philippines’ decision to ratify membership of the AIIB earlier in December. “Achieving full membership in the AIIB is a significant milestone. Completing our domestic procedures for ratification puts us in solidarity with 56 other countries,” Dominguez said.
Earlier in 2016, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Beijing and announced that his country would pivot away from the US towards China. He then moved swiftly to ensure AIIB ratification was passed through chambers of parliament.
The AIIB’s Jin spoke in a meeting with Dominguez about the advantage he perceives his multilateral bank to have over other such institutions.
He said that the AIIB offered cheaper and faster financing than the ADB and World Bank, adding: “This is our difference. We may finance other productive sectors, not just infrastructure: manufacturing because we believe developing countries need to move up on the value chain. And if you help them, then you can help them to be able to generate income.”