ADB backs China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in Central Asia
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports China’s Belt and Road initiative in Central Asia, as both sides have the common goal to promote regional cooperation and integration.
Zhang Wencai, ADB Vice President for Central and West Asia and South Asia Operations, made the remark during an interview Thursday.
Zhang said the bank has done a lot to support cooperation for regional integration, a strategic goal on the bank’s agenda.
According to the senior ADB official, the bank and China have agreeable blueprints for the development in Central Asia, including enhancing economic and financial cooperation, as well as policy coordination based on dialogues, among others.
What China’s Belt and Road initiative aims to achieve “is exactly what we are trying to do here,” he said.
“We are trying to strengthen the cooperation among the Central Asian countries,” he said, currently with focuses on the areas of transport, energy, and trade policy and facilitation.
“We also support projects in Kyrgyzstan for enhancing their connectivity with neighboring countries,” he added.
In his eyes, “to build connectivity will benefit all people, all countries in the region,” and this is where “the ADB can contribute to a member country’s initiative including the Chinese government’s Belt and Road initiative.”
On the ADB’s cooperation with the newly-established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Zhang said they are co-funding a highway project in Pakistan, and are preparing for joint projects in other countries.
Zhang expressed the hope for the 2 banks to work better in cooperation and coordination for regional development.
“We need to coordinate, we need to share information,” he said.
Members “want the ADB and the World Bank (WB) to coordinate with the new bank like the AIIB,” he added.
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