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AIIB and a phenomenal growth story

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AIIB, the first multilateral development bank initiated by China. Photo/IC

AIIB and a phenomenal growth story

As the first multilateral development bank initiated by China, the AIIB’s “circle of friends” has grown from 57 when it was founded on Jan 16, 2016, to 103 spread across six continents, making it the second-largest multilateral development bank, after the World Bank, in terms of number of members.

Initially, some countries feared that China, being a major shareholder, would violate international rules and dominate the bank’s decision-making process. However, they soon found out that the AIIB is a truly international body where any member, irrespective of how many shares it holds or how much voting power it wields, has to negotiate with other members.

Despite being the AIIB’s largest shareholder, China has from the very beginning abided by the principles of multilateral development banks. The AIIB’s growth over the past five years demonstrates China’s international credibility and the role as a responsible major country.

The AIIB has a lot in common with other multilateral development banks such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, but it is also unique in that it has an accountability system wherein responsibilities are divided among its board of directors and management, with its president being accountable to the board of directors.

Unlike other international institutions, any country, whether or not a member, can participate in bidding for AIIB’s relevant international procurement. With each project it has undertaken, AIIB’s credibility has grown, earning it the highest credit ratings from Standard& Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision recognises it as a zero-risk weight institution. Also, there is absolutely no room for corruption at the AIIB given its strict internal auditing system.

The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged the world economy into recession. In the post-epidemic era, infrastructure building will be indispensable for the green recovery of the world economy. AIIB has accumulated a lot of experience in this regard, having, over the past five years, approved over $22 billion in loans for 108 projects. It will continue to focus on building future-oriented green, digital and social infrastructure with high standards.

Given that the infrastructure investment gap in Asia and the world remains large, the AIIB will actively mobilise private capital to promote green recovery of the world economy, and strive for the private sector to account for 50 per cent of its approved financing by 2030.



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