Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (BBN)- The Presidents of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have called for closer cooperation to enhance the impact of their development work in common member countries.

The call came at a meeting on Sunday between IDB President, Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, and a high-level delegation from ADB, led by its President Haruhiko Kuroda. The meeting took place at IDB Headquarters in Jeddah.

The two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to enhance development efforts in member countries, in line with the Paris Declaration and the Accra High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

They also called for stronger institutional and operational cooperation in line with the framework co-financing agreement, signed between IDB and ADB in September 2008. That agreement earmarks up to $4.0 billion in co-financing by the two institutions in common member countries over a three-year period (2009-2011), according to a press statement.

The two banks have 13 common member countries in Asia including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Recent joint activities by the two institutions included plans for the establishment of the Islamic Asia Infrastructure Fund, a Shariah-compliant private equity fund, of up to $500 million.

The Fund will target equity investment to promote private sector participation in infrastructure projects in common member countries.

Other activities include the development of a private hydropower plant in Pakistan, the rehabilitation & upgrading of an irrigation and water resources project in Afghanistan and, most recently, the financing of a renewable solar-based energy project in Bangladesh.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-24November08-10:45 PM (BST)