September 29, 2016 / 9:42 AM / a year ago

China-led AIIB approves $320 mln in loans to Pakistan, Myanmar power projects

BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved loans totalling $320 million to energy projects aiming to ease severe power shortages in Myanmar and Pakistan, the bank said on Thursday.

A $300-million loan will fund expansion of a hydropower project in Pakistan, co-financed with the World Bank, and a loan of $20 million went to a power plant in Myanmar co-financed with other lenders, the bank said in a statement.

“With the approval of two new projects, we are well on our way to meeting our target to extend financing of $1.2 billion in 2016,” said President Jin Liqun, adding that the move met a core mandate of backing green and cost-effective infrastructure.

The bank has previously co-financed projects such as a slum renovation in Indonesia and highway construction in Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Crisis-hit Mongolia plans to pitch a number of railway projects to the AIIB as it steps up efforts to attract investment and boost trade, Reuters reported this month.

The bank, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping two years ago, began operations in January, with 57 founding member countries and $100 billion in committed capital. (Reporting by Sue-Lin Wong; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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