The Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) Infrastructure Fund Limited (AIF) is set to begin its lending operations in the second half of 2013, with a pipeline of some US$1 billion in projects for the next three years. The fund was incorporated in April last year and its shareholders are the governments of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam along with the Asian Development Bank, which administers the AIF.

“AIF’s first year was an active one,” said Bambang Brodjonegoro, head of the fiscal policy agency at Ministry of Finance of Indonesia and co-chair of the AIF. “What AIF has accomplished this year was to lay the groundwork for projects to come, and the progress to be made, in the years ahead.”

The AIF Board has approved the fund’s project pipeline, whose details will be announced as loan negotiations draw to a close.

“These projects have been carefully selected to reflect the AIF’s priorities and to mirror ADB’s emphasis on projects that are fundamental to achieving poverty reduction, inclusive growth, environmental sustainability, and regional integration,” said Arjun Goswami, director of the regional cooperation and operations division of the ADB’s Southeast Asia department, who leads the working group that manages the AIF.

The AIF Board has also authorised talks between Myanmar and the ADB, as a possible new member of the fund.

According to the ADB ASEAN’s infrastructure needs are some US$ 60 billion a year from 2010 to 2020, and this is in addition to national projects with significant cross-border impacts such as airports, seaports, and roads to borders.

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