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Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 17:51

AIIB should be platform for US-China cooperation, says bank chief

By Xinhua

 AIIB should be platform for US-China cooperation, says bank chief
In this May 31, 2016 photo, Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, speaks at the annual board meeting of the Asia News Network held at China Daily office in Beijing, China. (Feng Yongbin / chinadaily.com.cn)

WASHINGTON – As a new multilateral international institution focusing exclusively on infrastructure, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) should become a platform for cooperation between China and the United States, president of the bank said on Monday.

We just want to establish a bank which can deal with these shortfalls of financing for infrastructure investment in Asia and all of the borrowing countries in the future

Jin Liqun, Head, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

In a speech at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, AIIB chief Jin Liqun said there was a lot of skepticism in the US and Europe when China initiated the idea of the AIIB about three years ago.

Since then he has reached out to the White House, the State Department, and U.S. think tanks to explain the idea, according to Jin. Now they have finally realized that the AIIB is a new multilateral development bank, which focuses exclusively on infrastructure, he added.

"We just want to establish a bank which can deal with these shortfalls of financing for infrastructure investment in Asia and all of the borrowing countries in the future," he said.

Citing China's experience over the last four decades, Jin said China had borrowed from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and international capital markets to invest extensively in infrastructure from the 1980s through the mid-1990s, which laid the foundation for China's economic take-off.

ALSO READ: World Bank to deepen cooperation with AIIB

"Given this experience, China believed that to promote broad-based economic and social development through investment in infrastructure and other productive sectors is really important," he said.

With authorized capital of US$100 billion, AIIB aims to provide financing to address daunting infrastructure needs across Asia and promote economic development in the region.

 AIIB should be platform for US-China cooperation, says bank chief
Pedestrians walk past the headquarters of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China, Jan 14, 2016. (Photo / IC)
PLATFORM FOR CHINA-U.S. COOPERATION

Jin’s conversations with the Trump administration focused on how U.S. companies and the AIIB can work together to achieve a win-win situation.

He said he has also engaged with some U.S. financial institutions, manufacturers and consulting firms and asked them to work with the bank.

It's not clear whether the Trump administration has expressed interest in joining the AIIB, but Jin said he would work with the US on its membership.

READ MORE: AIIB to explore ties to finance new projects

"It should be the platform for cooperation between these two countries," said Jin.

UNIVERSAL RECRUITMENT, UNIVERSAL PROCUREMENT

Jin said he was proud that the AIIB has two features that the established banks don't claim to have: universal recruitment and universal procurement.

"The existing institutions only recruit nationals whose countries are the members. We recruit everyone from across the world," he said, noting the AIIB has recruited American employees although the US is not a member of the bank.

"Japan and the United States are not members yet, but their companies will be treated equally and fairly if they are interested in bidding."

 
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