Green infrastructure will play a vital role in raising the standard of living across Asia, an international advisor for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) told Xinhua on Friday.
Steve Howard, who is also the secretary general of the Global Foundation, a Sydney-based non-profit civic body dedicated to research, recently returned from a roundtable meeting in Malaysia this week.
The talks focused on how the AIIB can progress a number of strategic economic and social issues throughout Southeast Asia with an emphasis on the Belt and Road Initiative.
"I think that Southeast Asia is a very important region of the world," Howard said.
"There's a population of 600 million people and many are still lifting their way out of poverty, and the AIIB can actually play an important role in funding and co-funding projects there to help raise the standard of living."
Although the bank has only been in operation for less than two years, the institution, which currently has 80 members, has committed more than 3 billion U.S. dollars in loans to 21 projects.
"In Southeast Asia what we are looking for is renewable energy, wind, solar, biomass and other forms that can replace a lot of coal burning, polluting and environmentally defective energy sources," Howard said.
In other regions like the subcontinent, there is also a dire need for positive, progressive infrastructure.
"In Pakistan for example, many people are living without electricity and half the population, 100 million people, still don't have access to electricity of any sort," Howard said.