Finance Minister AMA Muhith on 03 Aug 17 announced that Bangladesh has asked for a loan of $1bn from China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Minister Muhith met with AIIB Vice-President DJ Pandian at the Secretariat. DJ Pandian said Bangladesh is a rapidly growing country who needs to strengthen its infrastructure to provide for millions of citizens. He expressed his eagerness to foster a strong relationship between Bangladesh and AIIB. The minister said the loan could sponsor seven infrastructure projects including power, rail and roads. The minister also said two of the projects have already been approved. The first project will connect 2.5million people in the rural areas to the national grid. It will also upgrade two sub-stations and convert 85km of overhead distribution lines in North Dhaka. The second project is improving the natural gas infrastructure and efficiency of Titas Gas Field. It will also involve constructing 181km-long gas pipeline from Bakhrabad to Chittagong.