Interview: AIIB's membership expansion to 100 reflects int'l community's confidence: president


Jin Liqun, president of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), speaks to Xinhua in an exclusive interview after AIIB's fourth annual meeting held in Luxembourg, July 13, 2019. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

[InKunming--China] The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Saturday further expanded its membership to 100, reflecting the international community's confidence in the multilateral institution, the bank's head has said.

Lauding the achievements made in the past three years, AIIB President Jin Liqun recently told Xinhua that the AIIB has established a fundamental operating system and nurtured its own enterprise culture, adding that it also managed to expand the scale of loans and obtain the status of United Nations permanent observer.

These achievements stemmed from the concerted efforts of all AIIB members and close cooperation with other banking institutions and the private sector, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, he said.

The AIIB members have various needs, and a relatively large difference in their appeals exists between the developing countries and the developed, Jin said. "We have limited funds, so it's hard to solve all the problems overnight."

Though not all of their expectations can be fulfilled in the short term, the institution will continue its efforts to expand the camp of borrowers and promote infrastructure construction and sustainable development, the president said.

"It won't be easy to fulfill everyone's expectations, but I have full confidence in realizing the goals," he added.

Moreover, the international bank holds the development principle of "quality first" instead of blindly pursuing unbridled growth, Jin noted.

The bank must take three factors into consideration when assessing investment projects: financial sustainability, ecological sustainability and whether the investment can improve living standard, he explained.

"We offer loans to our members in order to help them develop their economies, but not trap them into a debt crisis," Jin said.

The multilateral focuses on sustainable development, and the unswerving support of major AIIB shareholder China for the Paris Agreement on climate change is great encouragement for the institution, he said.

From its practice, people can tell that China is a responsible country, which strives "not just for its own benefits, but also for the world's development," Jin said.

Jin made the remarks after the fourth annual meeting of the AIIB's Board of Governors was concluded in Luxembourg on Saturday. During the meeting, the AIIB expanded its membership to 100 with the approval of the African newcomers of Benin, Djibouti and Rwanda.

The China-initiated multilateral financial institution began operation in January 2016 with 57 founding members, with an agenda focused on supporting sustainable development through infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond.

So far, the AIIB has approved 46 projects worth 8.5 billion U.S. dollars for 18 members and includes building highways and power plants.

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