China-led Asian Bank reaches milestone of 100 members


Observer Report


China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) reached a milestone, having membership of 100 countries including Pakistan, with high-profile record of supporting development countries in their socio-economic development.
Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in an interview said he wants AIIB to become the bank that connects Asia to the world.
The AIIB Board of Governors approved last week, the applications of three African countries — Benin, Djibouti and Rwanda — at the bank’s annual meeting in Luxembourg. This would bring the total number of AIIB members to 100, including 70 whose memberships have been ratified by their parliaments.
“AIIB members collectively account for 78 percent of the world’s population and 63 percent of global GDP. With the backing of all of our members, we are building a lean, clean and green institution that can help to support their sustainable development,” Jin said.
Finance Minister Liu Kun said at the meeting on Saturday that he hopes the AIIB will give play to its own advantage as a multilateral development bank to link its strategy with the development blueprints of its members, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Connecting Europe and Asia Strategy of the European Union.
“China, an AIIB shareholder and a country that hosts AIIB’s head office, will continue to support the bank’s development,” Liu said.
Liu suggested that AIIB come up with an overall strategy based on previous operating experiences to guide its further development, its features, new trends of global growth and the diversified requirements of members.
Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwanda’s minister of finance and economic planning, called AIIB “a great bank”.
“We are happy to join as the 100th member. We are looking forward to not only having fruitful cooperation with the bank, but also with the member countries to promote infrastructure and promote trade and investment between Asia and Africa,” he said on Saturday.
At the annual meeting, the first held outside of Asia, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna praised AIIB as “arguably the most modern and international financial institution in the world”.
“The bank has emerged as a beacon of multilateralism while surpassing expectations of growth,” he said. Luxembourg was the first European nation to join the AIIB, as the United States government was trying to lobby European countries not to join the multilateral development bank initiated by China.
By the end of 2018, the AIIB’s total investment had reached $7.5 billion, up from $4.196 billion a year earlier, according to the AIIB’s annual report released on its website.