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1 Sep, 2016

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank set to hit 90 member states

Beijing, 26 August 2016, (People’s Daily Online)–The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will review more than 30 new membership applications beginning in September, and the bank may have as many as 90 members by early 2017, outstripping the membership numbers of U.S. and Japan-led Asian Development Bank (ADB), said Jin Liqun, the bank’s president, at the China Entrepreneurs Forum on Aug, 25.

“As the first multilateral financial institution initiated by a developing Asian country, the China-initiated AIIB is going to absorb the experience of current multilateral banks. However, we don’t want to clone them, but rather innovate and expand on them,” Jin said.

Jin Liqun

Jin Liqun

According to Jin, AIIB is initiating cooperation with private capital on pension and commercial insurance projects, aiming to foster the role of private capital in public affairs. The bank is also working on developing new financial instruments to build a more flexible and efficient investment system.

“AIIB upholds its universal procurement procedures and gives players from all countries a fair appraisal when bidding for contracts,“ Jin said.

The institution won’t be limited to any one sphere, but plans to embrace projects in all fields, including
transport, energy, electricity, communications and logistics. It will also consider both new projects and intelligent upgrades, according to Jin.

In June, AIIB approved $165 million in loans for a project in Bangladesh–the first batch of loans for the country from the China-led development bank.

AIIB, which launched formally in December 2015, particularly aims to support the construction of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. Its 57 founding members include not only the BRICS countries (China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa) and four Group of Seven countries (Britain, France, Germany and Italy), but also Egypt, Australia and New Zealand. So far, the U.S. and Japan have not joined.

The AIIB expects to lend $10 to $15 billion per year to members for at least the next five years.