KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expressed its interest in financing the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR), among other infrastructure projects in Malaysia, according to the Embassy of China.

Second secretary of Embassy of China, Fang Tao, said the president of AIIB, Jin Liqun, had met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak earlier to discuss about the project. Both sides have expressed interests in the cooperation or the involvement of AIIB in this project, he said.

Fang was speaking at a press conference held on the sideline of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Supply Chain Conference 2018 conducted by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers here today.

"I think they are open to it (the HSR). After Jin Liqun attended a conference hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia several weeks ago, he realised that this is the market that AIIB has not attached great importance to.

"I believe the delegation went back to China and the Embassy will be in close contact with AIIB to discuss how they can proceed, or how AIIB can provide financial services to Malaysia companies, or all the large infrastructure projects in Malaysia," said Fang.

AIIB is a China-led multilateral development bank launched in 2016 and headquartered in Beijing, China. It currently does not fund any projects in Malaysia.

Fang added that AIIB, being an international organisation, would still be open to funding the HSR project regardless if the HSR project goes to the Japanese or South Korean companies.

It is also not limited to funding only BRI-oriented projects, he said. — theedgemarkets.com

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