Prof. Karin Costa Vazquez, Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Center for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS), Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) spoke on the topic of multilateral development finance in the XXI China Analysis Group Meeting titled ‘The Increasing Role of Asia in Multilateral Development Finance’ on 9 December 2020. The event was joined by Leslie Maasdorp, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, New Development Bank (NDB), Joachim von Amsberg, Vice-President, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and Martin Raiser, Director for China and Mongolia, World Bank, and was organised by the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI).
The webinar focused on the significance of the AIIB and the NDB in countries’ development strategy that must deal increasingly with a rising India, China, and Asia. According to Prof. Vazquez, it is the inclusion of sustainable development in the mandate of the two banks, side by side with infrastructure, that truly distinguishes them from other multilateral development banks. “It is easy to understand why it is so as the two new banks were created on the same year that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement were adopted,” said Prof. Vazquez. She added that the strategies to achieve this goal seem similar with both the AIIB and the NDB focusing on investments in affordable and clean energy, and other infrastructure projects to increase domestic and intra-regional connectivity and competitiveness. “But while the intentions are clear, it is not until the development results of the two banks are assessed that their real contribution can be verified”, said Prof. Vazquez.
Citing the report ‘Building Infrastructure for 21st Century Sustainable Development: Lessons and Opportunities for the BRICS-led New Development Bank,’ supported by O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Conectas Human Rights (Brazil) and Fudan University (China), Prof. Vazquez argued that the AIIB and NDB can go beyond avoiding, mitigating and compensating the adverse impacts of their projects on the environment and vulnerable groups. “The NDB and the AIIB can go beyond this ‘do no harm’ approach to consciously generate additional positive environmental, social and economic spillovers in borrowing countries. But neither the NDB nor AIIB have yet offered a definition for sustainable infrastructure that can be measured and verified,” she concluded.
The recording of the event is available at: