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13 Apr, 2014

China moving ahead with plan for Asian infrastructure bank

BOAO, Hainan, April 10 -(Xinhua)  – China is ready to step up talks on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Premier Li Keqiang told the opening ceremony of the 2014 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

“China is ready to intensify consultations with relevant parties in and outside Asia on the preparations for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and hopes that the bank can be officially launched at an early date,” Li said in a keynote speech.

At a panel discussion during the forum, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said China has held two talks with other countries, many of which have shown interests in becoming founding members of the bank.

Lou said China is trying to roll out an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding this autumn and after some further revisions, China would move quickly to launch the bank.

With a preliminary capital scale of 50 billion U.S. dollars from its members, the new multilateral institution will help fund infrastructure projects in Asia.

The creation of the bank was put forward by Chinese leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li, during their visits to southeastern Asian countries in October 2013.

The much-anticipated further economic integration of Asia faces many bottlenecks, including backward infrastructures, Lou said.

Investment in infrastructure also has special significance particularly at a time when the global economic recovery is still weak, he added.