As a subregion with huge unmet needs for physical infrastructure, South Asian countries welcomed the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a new multilateral development bank (MDB) to help close some of their financing gaps. Not only were the South Asian countries among the founding members of the new bank, they have also emerged as its important borrowers. Starting operations in January 2016, AIIB has had only three years of operations. Three years is not a long time for evolution of an MDB from scratch, but it can give an indication of the shape of things to come. This note briefly reviews AIIB's operations in South Asia, a subregion facing some of the widest gaps in providing sustainable and resilient infrastructure to all its people as enunciated in the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
Image credit: Norman B. Leventhal Map via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)