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3 Sep 2019

Belarus seeks AIIB financing to improve transport infrastructure, healthcare

Belarus seeks AIIB financing to improve transport infrastructure, healthcare

MINSK, 3 September (BelTA) – Belarus hopes that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agrees to finance projects in transport infrastructure and healthcare, Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said as he met with AIIB President Jin Liqun on 3 September, BelTA has learned.

“We hope for the bank’s support in the implementation of projects on improving infrastructure. I know that the development of the project on the P46 Lepel-Polotsk road is almost complete. Belarus devotes careful attention to the development of transport infrastructure. Belarusian roads are well maintained, but the country is a big transit hub and is situated at a crossroads of transport corridors, this is why developing the network of roads is a priority for the government,” Sergei Rumas noted.

He also suggested that the AIIB should join the project to build a railway station in the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone.

Sergei Rumas pointed out that Belarus has considerable experience of structuring similar projects implemented jointly with a lot of international financial institutions and hopes for establishing such relations with the AIIB.

Healthcare projects are also of considerable interest for Belarus. “We are willing to discuss possible financing to support the center of pediatric oncology, set up a center of pediatrics and pediatric surgery, construct a new bone marrow and stem cell transplantation facility,” Sergei Rumas said.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has no experience of financing projects in healthcare, but, according to Sergei Rumas, Belarus may become the first country to involve the bank in such a project.

AIIB President Jin Liqun is visiting Belarus for the first time. Sergei Rumas stressed that the AIIB delegation led by the bank’s president has valuable experience of working in international development institutions, which helps the bank structure deals to implement complex infrastructure projects.

At present, Belarus actively cooperates with such international financial institutions as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the European Investment Bank. “Belarus has a perfect credit history in the relations with all these partners. I am sure that Belarus and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will soon cultivate similar trust relations and establish long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation,” Sergei Rumas noted.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was established in October 2014. The key goal of the bank is to overcome the infrastructure limitations that hinder economic development not only in Asia but beyond. Its charter capital is $100 billion. At present the bank has 70 full members. Belarus became a member of the bank on 17 January 2019.

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