BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao said Saturday that the bank will boost its loaning capacity to about $20 billion in 2017 from about $13 trillion at present, a move some see as a rivalry against the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
“It has nothing to do with AIIB,” said Nakao during a news conference.
The comment came as related events of the 48th annual meeting of the ADB, led by Japan and the United States, kicked off in the capital of Azerbaijan earlier in the day.
On Friday, Nakao and Jin Liqun, head of the interim secretariat of the AIIB, agreed to work together for Asia, according to a statement issued by the ADB.
By producing the cooperative tone, the two officials effectively brushed aside concerns that the ADB and the AIIB will vie with each other.
Jin, hailing from China’s Finance Ministry, is the leading candidate to become the first head of the AIIB. He has served as vice president of the ADB.
During the one-hour meeting, Nakao and Jin discussed future collaboration between the ADB and the AIIB, such as joint financing, according to the ADB statement.
In March, Nakao told a press conference in Tokyo that the ADB is ready to consider joint financing with the AIIB if the new bank observes the ADB’s lending standards.
At the Baku meeting, the two officials acknowledged the need to remove “the large infrastructure gap” in Asia to support sustainable development and poverty reduction while taking into account the environmental and social impacts of infrastructure projects.
In the statement, the ADB chief expressed a willingness to use “our long experience and expertise in the region” to promote its cooperation with the AIIB.
The two officials also agreed to continue information-sharing and promote discussions on concrete steps for collaboration.