Speaking at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s third annual meeting in Mumbai on June 25, Indian Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg announced that India has become the largest borrower from AIIB. The bank’s funding for India was bolstered the same day, when AIIB announced the approval of a $200 million equity investment in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The NIIF works with investors, both domestic and international, that are interested in investing in Indian infrastructure projects. The investment is phase one of a two-phase process. NIIF was set up in 2015 as an investment vehicle to finance commercially viable infrastructure projects.
The NIIF deal brings AIIB financing in India to $1.21 billion, out of total global commitments of $4.39 billion. Responding to questions regarding the AIIB being used to promote the Belt and Road Initiative, Garg said, “With 86 member countries, I don’t think anybody should consider this belongs to any particular country. In a way it might be as Chinese as the World Bank is American….We have not seen any projects specifically funded on BRI (Belt and Road initiative), where we have an issue, so far.”