The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank may start financing projects in Belarus by the end of 2019, it is learned from Belarusian Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich. The official said: “From our point of view the AIIB has already secured some headway in order to get down to financing as early as this year.

Potentially the AIIB may become a participant of any project being implemented or being prepared for implementation in Belarus.” After Belarus joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in January, negotiations took place in Beijing to get the bank to start working with Belarus right away.

“An infrastructure program is being prepared, which may be supported by the AIIB. There is an interest in an entire number of projects, primarily road construction ones. We earmark for financing the motorways M3, M1 which represent, we believe, the highest priorities for investing in road infrastructure.

The AIIB is also considering joining the public-private partnership project for reconstructing the M10 motorway. The Transport and Communications Ministry is working on it now,” he said.

According to the finance minister, opportunities for financing infrastructure projects have been considerably expanded thanks to more active work of international financial institutions in Belarus: the volume of support from the World Bank is not going down, the European Investment Bank has started working hard, traditionally good relations are maintained with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

This is why stepping up work with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is the next stage.”

Asked about the possible volume of finance from the AIIB, Maksim Yermolovich explained that the sums will be determined by the cost of the project and the Finance Ministry’s ability to spend the resources while acting on behalf of Belarus.

“Indeed, we are talking about considerable volumes of finance. We have to start somewhere, demonstrate our discipline with regard to the execution of projects, the discipline of payments.

Afterwards I think in line with the already established procedure of interaction with international financial organisations both the AIIB and other partners of ours will increase the volume of their investments in the country’s economy,” the finance minister said.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was established in October 2014. The key goal of the bank is to overcome infrastructure-based limitations of economic development in Asia and beyond. Its charter capital is $100 billion. At present the bank has about 70 full members. Belarus became an AIIB member on 17 January 2019.