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ADB Raises Annual Lending To China To $2 Billion Mark

The Asian Development Bank is aiming to increase its sovereign lending to China to about $2 billion a year from 2016 to 2020, up from the annual average of $1.5 billion in the past five years.

“Our total lending, including lending to the private sector, will increase by about 50 percent inthe coming years, up from $13 billion to $20 billion. If we keep the same ratio of increasehere, our lending to China could also increase by up to 50 percent,” ADB President TakehikoNakao said on Monday.

The actual lending volume will depend on approval by the board of the bank of actual projectsand programs, he said. In 2015, the bank’s sovereign lending to China was $1.7 billion,accounting for 12 percent of its sovereign lending to all member countries.

He listed climate change and environmental protection as the top priorities of the ADB indeepening its partnership with China.

Last year, the bank approved its first policy-based loan of $300 million to China for air qualityimprovement in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, he said at the China Development Forum 2016on Sunday.

Under this loan, Hebei province will issue a new emission standard for volatile organiccompounds, requiring factories to introduce pollution reduction devices to productionprocesses. Other policies under this loan include guidelines on converting coal to gas forpower and heating, transport-related regulations, and enhanced environmental monitoring ofpolluting industries.

Speaking of ADB’s support to regional cooperation and integration, he said it is also astrategic priority under the bank’s new member partnership strategy. ADB can also cooperateclosely with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in this area.

“I had a very constructive discussion with Mr Jin (Liqun) of the AIIB. We agreed that Asianeeds more infrastructure investment and we can cooperate through different ways includingcofinancing. We also agreed that social and environmental considerations are important whenwe do projects, and the procurement system should be fair and competitive,” Nakao said.

In its member partnership strategy, the ADB mentioned the importance of China not just as abeneficiary of the bank, but as a contributor.

China made a contribution of about $45 million to the Asian Development Fund managed byADB, joining efforts to support poorer countries in the region for the year 2013-16 by givingthem grants and concessional loans.

By JIANG XUEQING Mar. 22, 2016 on China Daily

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