The Asian Development Bank will enhance its cooperation with China, following the Chinese government’s priorities set out in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) and the Belt and Road Initiative, an official of the bank said on Sept 19.
Robert Guild, director of the transport division of the ADB’s East Asia department, said: “When we plan our forward pipeline of projects, we work with the National Development and Reform Commission and with the provinces to identify projects that may contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative within China and crossing the borders into neighboring countries.
“ADB has more than 40 developing member countries all through Asia. Also in those countries, we finance projects that may contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative on the other side of the border,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of a transport workshop in Beijing.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping, is a development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among more than 60 countries and regions across Asia, Europe and Africa.
Speaking of the ADB’s priorities in the road sector associated with the initiative for the next three years, Guild said: “We have planned cross-border facilities－things like warehouses, sorting yards, and places for trucks and trains to interchange their cargo－border crossing posts, support to small and medium-sized enterprises and information systems in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region... We also have projects dealing with logistics hubs in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, going to the west.”
In the rail sector, the bank is working in Yunnan province and has three projects coming up, to connect with southern neighboring countries, he added.
The ADB will scale up its operations in regional cooperation and integration, a major strategic agenda of the bank, to at least 30 percent of the total in 2020, and transport is the first pillar of the RCI strategy. More than half of the bank’s RCI loans to China between 2006 and 2014 were devoted to transport projects, said Masahiro Nishimura, transport specialist of the transport division of ADB’s East Asia department.
The bank approved more than $17 billion of loans for transport and information and communication technology in China from 1986 and 2015, accounting for 55 percent of its lending portfolio in the nation.
Zhang Dawei, deputy director-general of the comprehensive planning department of the Ministry of Transport, said under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese transport sector will have a huge demand for capital provided by international financial institutions like ADB during the 13th Five-Year Plan.
“China will further expand its cooperation with the ADB in terms of loans and technical assistance and step up regional transport cooperation. In the meantime, we will also expand our cooperation with the ADB to areas such as integrated transportation, modern logistics, urban transport and green transport,” he said.
The Ministry of Transport will improve land transport passages along the Belt and Road by taking neighboring countries as priorities, promoting the connectivity of national infrastructure construction plans, and speeding up the construction of international transport passages.