South-South Ideas paper authored by Prof Karin Costa Vazquez, Fudan Scholar at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University (China).


The New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank models of multilateral development finance bring to life an Asian approach to South-South cooperation that relies on infrastructure development to catalyze industrialization, spur economic growth, and ultimately help countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Despite their different governance, operational models, and approaches to financing development, the portfolio of the two banks converges in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while adhering to their mandate to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries.

The strategies towards this twin goal seem fairly similar with the two banks focusing on affordable and clean energy, water management and sanitation, and other infrastructure projects to increase domestic and intra-regional connectivity, competitiveness, trade and investments. While the intentions are clear, it is not until development results are assessed and knowledge networks are established that the real contribution of the two new multilateral development banks to the Sustainable Development Goals can be verified.

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