This June 16, 2017 photo shows the second annual meeting of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)'s board of governors is in progress in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju. The second annual meeting of the AIIB's board of governors kicked off Friday. (Yao Qilin / Xinhua)
JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has won acclaim for its good work from representatives of all over the world at its Second Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors held here through Saturday.
The multilateral development bank (MDB), initiated by China and supported by a wide range of countries and regions, has been playing a unique role in promoting development while showing great creativity and potential.
"In January 2016, at the Bank's inauguration, I made a pledge that we would ensure that this institution operates as a 'lean, clean and green' organization," said Jin Liqun, president of AIIB.
"Eighteen months on, I can report to you that the management and the staff have been translating these principles and aspirations into reality," he said.
To date, AIIB has approved some US$2.49 billion in financing for 16 infrastructure projects in nine countries. Twelve of the projects were co-financed, while four were standalone projects prepared by the bank.
Jin made particular reference to the power transmission project in Bangladesh, which will help bring affordable and reliable electricity to more than 12 million rural people while achieving energy saving equivalent to an annual reduction of 16,400 tons of CO2.
To date, AIIB has approved some US$2.49 billion in financing for 16 infrastructure projects in nine countries
The bank has also approved three new members – Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga during the annual meeting, bringing the total membership to 80.
"We appreciate very much the way the bank has begun. We are pretty confident that in the future years, the bank would expand its membership and also its portfolio for the good of this region," said Philippe Baudry, director-general of the Treasury of France.
"The bank has done a lot. Given to its young age, I would give it a good score of more than 90 points out of 100," said Hamad Albazai, deputy finance minister of Saudi Arabia.
DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
The AIIB has injected new vitality to the development of sustainable infrastructure and connectivity, said Chinese Finance Minister Xiao Jie.
The bank has finished with high efficiency formulating rules and regulations, building organizational structure, and has approved 23 new members while deepening cooperation and partnership with relevant parties, he said while addressing the annual meeting.
Chinese Finance Minister Xiao Jie, center, attends the Second Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) held in Jeju Island, South Korea, June 16, 2017. (Yao Qilin / Xinhua)
The minister stressed that the annual meeting shows the bank's commitment to promoting Asian as well as the world economic development through providing financing for sustainable infrastructure development.
The bank, with its lean structure and highly efficient operation model, has a late-development advantage in promoting sustainable infrastructure development, mobilizing private sector capital, and effectively responding to the needs of clients, Xiao said.
FORGING NEW PATH
Zheng Quan, director general for Policy and Strategy of AIIB, said the AIIB is now “the only multilateral development bank in the world that the developing countries dominate with a combined total of over 60 percent of the shares”.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun speaks at the opening ceremony of the AIIB's board of governors meeting in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju, June 16, 2017. (Yao Qilin / Xinhua)
For Sir Danny Alexander, vice president and corporate secretary at AIIB, the charm of AIIB lies in its mission to invest in infrastructure, which supports sustainable economic development in Asia and is also good for the whole world as Asia has the most people in the world, most of economic growth in the world and also a lot of growth potential.
The bank has also established a non-resident board, which, while giving the board more autonomy and responsibility, is more cost-efficient, according to Zheng.
The new mechanism and business models are based on learning from the experiences and lessons of other multilateral development banks.
"We are quickly moving upwards on the learning curve," said Jin.