World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Wednesday signed the first co-financing framework agreement, paving the way for their cooperation on joint projects this year.

The agreement outlines the co-financing parameters of the World Bank and AIIB investment projects, said the World Bank in a statement.

In 2016, the AIIB expects to approve about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in financing, with the World Bank joint projects anticipated to account for a sizable share, said the World Bank. But it did not give details of its share in the co-financed projects.

According to the statement, the World Bank and the AIIB are currently discussing nearly one dozen co-financed projects in sectors that include transport, water and energy in Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia.

Under the agreement, the World Bank will prepare and supervise the co-financed projects in areas such as procurement, environment and social safeguards.

“I am very pleased today to sign this co-financing agreement together with World Bank Group President Kim,” AIIB President Jin Liqun said in the statement.

“The AIIB is very grateful for the generous and timely support offered by the World Bank Group throughout our establishment process, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with ongoing cooperation in project co-financing and other areas.”

According to the World Bank, some 1.2 billion people in the world lack access to electricity and 2.4 billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation services.

“Signing this agreement enables our institutions to finance development projects together, and that is an important first step toward working with a new partner to address the world’s huge infrastructure needs,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Apr. 14, 2016 on XinhuaNet

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