Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem on September 13 met with AIIB Vice President Joachim Von Amsberg who was in Vietnam for the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) 2018. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
– Ho Chi Minh City and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) hope to enhance their ties to facilitate infrastructure development in Vietnam’s southern economic hub.

The news came after Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem on September 13 met with AIIB Vice President Joachim Von Amsberg who was in Vietnam for the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) 2018.

Welcoming Amsberg to the WEF ASEAN in Hanoi, Liem said this year’s event aimed to address key issues in ASEAN nations in the era of the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), relevant to HCM City’s aim to become a smart city.

The city is facing big challenges like climate change, traffic congestion and pollution that necessitate investing in infrastructure to keep it aligned with local socio-economic development and lay a foundation for Industry 4.0 in the city, he said.

He proposed the AIIB send experts to assist the city’s authorities in business support programmes and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in infrastructure.

The AIIB official, for his part, lauded the city’s potential, saying the bank pays heed to the capital need of Asian cities, including HCM City, in capital-intensive infrastructure projects in transport, energy and water supply.

Amsberg said his bank wants to build a long-term partnership with HCM City and discuss with the local government on new financing methods for urban development, such as non-government guaranteed loans or a support programme to call for international financing.

As a young and dynamic bank, the AIIB is ready to cooperate with the city in support projects for local small- and medium-sized enterprises and other private businesses in infrastructure development.

The AIIB, a multilateral development bank, has helped many Asian countries achieve better infrastructure, deeper regional integration and poverty reduction, said an official from the bank.

According to Supee Teravaninthorn, Director General of AIIB's Investment Operations Department, the bank has focused on promoting sustainable infrastructure, regional connectivity and private capital mobilisation over the last two years.

In its first year of operation in 2016, the AIIB approved investment of 1.7 billion USD for nine infrastructure projects in seven countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Azerbaijan and Oman.
 
In 2017, another 2.5-billion-USD investment was approved by the bank for Egypt, Georgia, India, the Philippines and China.

For countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, the AIIB has financed, approved, or prepared funds for infrastructure projects, including those to improve energy efficiency and air quality in Myanmar and China.

AIIB is considering projects related to water resources, energy, and sustainable city development in Vietnam, which are likely to be launched in 2018 or 2019. –VNA