Initiated in 2017 and formally established in 2020, the Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF) is the latest addition to the development finance landscape in Asia. This article provides an in-depth analysis of MCDFʼs potential to offer additionality in development finance and its political legitimacy by comparing it to 18 development finance and capacity-building organisations. The article finds that while the MCDF contributes to closing the substantial infrastructure financing gap in Asia, it risks overlapping with existing initiatives to such a degree that it may become an inefficient use of resources while lacking legitimacy as a multilateral organisation due to its unclear relationship with Chinaʼs Belt and Road Initiative. From this outset, and given the climate mandates of its multilateral development bank members, this article finds that if the MCDF focuses specifically on green and climate finance, it could carve out an area where it can become a much-needed new platform for project development and coordination.
- Belt and road initiative (BRI)
- Climate finance
- Infrastructure financing
- Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF)
- Multilateral development banks