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Thursday, October 22, 2015, 17:15

AIIB 'to be run with highest standards'

By Xinhua

AIIB 'to be run with highest standards'
Jin Liqun, Secretary General of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, looks on before meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping after the signing ceremony for the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 29, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / WANG ZHAO)

WASHINGTON - The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be built into a new type of development bank with "21st century governance," said Jin Liqun, president-designate of the institution, on Wednesday.

"I've decided to take up this honorable job, understanding that Chinese leaders intended to create a first-class multilateral development institution with 21st century governance," said Jin at an event held by Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.

"I will not have taken this job without this condition," said Jin, who has many years of experience as high-ranking officials at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Jin was appointed by the Chinese government in February 2014 to head the Working Group to establish the AIIB, which has once been widely doubted by Western countries, especially the United States.

Now, the bank has 57 prospective founding countries including several U.S. allies and will have an authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars. It is expected to start operation by the end of this year.

Jin said the creation of the AIIB is the results of the efforts of all the prospective founding members who agreed that the governance of the institution should be measured up to "the highest possible standards," combining the merits of the existing multilateral development banks and those of the successful private sector companies.

"When you see today the results of the efforts of all the prospective founding members, a new type of development bank is taking shape, a new development bank with 21st century governance," said Jin.

Jin said depending on rigorous implementation of the governance, the AIIB will be "lean, clean and green."

To keep lean means there should be no redundant positions, said Jin.  "If you allow one redundant position today there will be two, there will be three and there will be four. Once the redundancies become massive, it’s very hard for you to cut it out. So we have to be cautious of keeping lean."

Jin vowed to take a "zero tolerance" approach toward corruption in the AIIB as he has already done very successfully in the World Bank when his team managed about 40 billion dollars.

"Under my leadership not a single staff member was involved in corruption cases. None of them was put into prison just because I implemented the anti-corruption policy. It's the implementation. It's not the policy on papers that matters. It's the way you deal with it in a very tough way. If you as a head is clean nobody dares to do it. That's the key." Jin said.

The AIIB will enjoy a "first-class top management" as the bank will have universal recruitment and universal procurement, a new feature of AIIB compared to the existing multilateral development banks and the fundamental guarantee for its success, said Jin.

"We do not reject any nationals even if their countries are not members. We do not reject professionals from the highest caliber just because their passports. We do not reject any companies to help develop infrastructure just because their countries are not members," said Jin.

Talking about the relationship between the AIIB and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other existing multilateral development banks, Jin said the AIIB is not a rival to them and is cooperating with them  very smoothly at present.

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