Islamic Bank set to join forces with China-backed AIIB

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The Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) is set to form a partnership with the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to address infrastructure challenges in member countries.

“The IsDB and AIIB plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding later in the year. Many of our member countries overlap so it is a natural partnership,” IsDB Group President Bandar Hajjar said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency.

“Many of our member countries overlap so it is a natural partnership. Our focus will be to address the drastic infrastructure gap in common member countries,” he said.

The AIIB, which has 84 member countries, was set up by China with $100 billion in committed capital. Its mission is to invest in infrastructure projects across Asia and beyond.

Hajjar said 57 member countries of the IsDB Group need about $150 billion a year to finance infrastructure in the energy sector alone.

“There are about 650 million people in Africa without access to electricity, this specific partnership jointly with other international partners, including the World Bank and French Development Agency, will help solve these issues.” Hajjar added.

Enhancing cooperation with Turkey

Praising Turkish economic growth performance — at 7 percent on annual average since 2009 — Hajjar said: “We are confident that the growth drivers along with strong investor and business confidence are expected to keep the high growth momentum in the coming years.”

He noted that Turkey was the fourth largest beneficiary of the IsDB Group financing, which has an overall portfolio of $11.2 billion in the country for 483 operations.

Hajjar added that the bank invested more than $700 million in renewable energy and energy efficiency enhancement projects.

“The IsDB is firmly committed to continue supporting Turkey in strategic priority areas,” Hajjar said.

“In the energy sector, the focus is expected to be in renewable energy, energy supply security through storage infrastructure and transmission networks; in the transportation sector, the support would be mainly on enhancing Turkey as a logistics hub through high-speed trains and motorways,” the IsDB group president said.

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