February 20, 2021 3:15:28 am
The Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be investing $5 billion in the next two years to finance 20-30 projects in India, said DJ Pandian, former chief secretary of Gujarat and vice-president (investment operations) of AIIB.
“We have so far invested in 21 projects in India, amounting to almost USD 5.5 billion. We have another 20-30 projects in the pipeline amounting to another USD 5 billion, which will be financed in next two years,” said Pandian during an interactive session organised as part of a webinar by the Gujarat Maritime University on ‘Maritime Development: Challenges and Opportunities’.
Talking about AIIB’s investment in Gujarat, Pandian said, “In Gujarat, we have invested in the roads project about USD 300 million. We are going to invest in the education infrastructure. Present (primary and secondary education) Secretary Vinod Rao wants to modernise education. Because of Covid everything is technology oriented. So we need to strengthen the technology infrastructure, so that it will reach the common man. This project is being co-financed with World Bank.” He said the total investment in the education project is about USD 500 million.
AIIB began operations in Beijing in 2016 and has India as one of the founding members. “Anybody who has visited China recently can see the infrastructure development that has taken place in the last 20-30 years. It is enormous and mind boggling. Whether it is road, tunnels, canals, railways, high-speed train networks, airports, ports and even tracks for cycling, just too much. They have developed for the next century,” said Pandian while talking about the infrastructure development in China.
Earlier while speaking about the maritime trade during the webinar, Pandian said, “For international maritime, today is the worst period…In 2009, because of the global financial crisis, the maritime trade had fallen by minus 4 percent. Same thing is happening today, because of the pandemic, the trade has fallen to minus 4 percent. It is expected that with the introduction of the vaccine and the pandemic coming under control, I think the maritime trade will grow next year and come back to normal in a year’s time.”
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