Newly-opened Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to revamp Asian economies

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is designed to revamp aging infrastructure in emerging Asian economies. The Chinese-led bank starts with 57 member states and a capital stock of $100 billion.

BEIJING (China) — The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) opens with $100bn in capital contributed by its 57 member nations and is expected to lend $10-$15bn annually over the first five or six years of operations, which will begin in the second quarter of 2016.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called the launch of the bank an “historic moment”.

“Asia’s financing needs for basic infrastructure are absolutely enormous,” he said, and the bank will look to invest in projects that are “high quality” and “low cost”.

The AIIB’s door has been opened and the door will stay open, said Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), at a press conference on Sunday.

Jin made the remarks in response to a question about whether the AIIB’s door is open to Japan and the United States.

“I’m very grateful to all the governments of the member countries who have been supporting, and I am grateful to all the governments of the countries which are on the waiting list, and we will try to resolve their membership issues as soon as possible,” Jin said.

“This bank is warmly embraced by so many countries in the world. We have member countries in every continent, from north to the south, from east to the west, it is truly a great achievement,” he said.

The new multilateral financial institution was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 and officially established late last year. It is headquartered in Beijing.

Thirty of the 57 prospective founding members, representing over 74 percent of the shares, have ratified the article agreement, thus becoming full members of the AIIB, and the remaining ones will have completed their membership processes by the end of this year, Jin said.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International