Countries rushing to AIIB as deadline nears





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BOAO, Hainan  |  2015-03-27 16:31:58


Countries rushing to

AIIB as deadline nears


By Fang Dong, Guo Xinfeng, Li Laifang, Xu Ke and Zhou Huimin



The Republic of Korea and Turkey have announced their decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the latest batch of wait-and-see countries to join as the application deadline draws close.

The move brought the number of countries and regions to apply as founding members for the China-proposed international lending institute to 37 as of Friday.

On Friday of March 27 , China’ s Ministry of Finance welcomed the decision and said the ROK will become a founding member by April 11 if other members approve.

The ROK and Turkey are part of an emerging wave of countries joining the AIIB which was started by Britain, who unexpectedly filed its application on March 12.

The bank now has 27 prospective founding members with the rest waiting for two-week approval, the ministry said.

The AIIB originally had 21 founders including China, India and Singapore which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the bank last October in Beijing.

No western government was involved at that time.

The ice was broken on January 1, when New Zealand was officially approved as a founding member, the first developed economy to join. However, most developed economies remained uninvolved until Britain joined.

Since then France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland have decided to join.

“It is good to see so many countries all over the world are joining, Asian countries and European countries,” Hans-Paul Burkner, Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group, said on Friday during an exclusive interview with Xinhua, describing the trend as a very positive development.

But the United States and Japan, leaders of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) remained indifferent.

The Unite States has been too slow in accepting the necessity of the AIIB in the Asian world, Leo Melamed, the founder of global financial futures markets, said during the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2015 held in Boao, a coastal town in south China’s Hainan province.

“The AIIB is a very important move by Asia. I applaud that move. And it’s necessary there is a development bank like such for the Asian world, whose economic volume is at least a third of the whole planet,” said Melamed, Chairman Emeritus of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The AIIB will be an international financial institution providing support to infrastructure projects in Asia, and is expected to be established by the end of this year.

Burkner said there is enormous need for infrastructure investments around the world and particularly in Asia with fast growing population, which is not possible for the World Bank or the ADB alone to satisfy.

“It also means more momentum in infrastructure investment, there will be cooperation and also some healthy competition with the ADB and the World Bank,” he said.

Burkner also dismissed concerns on the AIIB’ s governance and transparency.

“The more countries that participate, the more China allocates different roles and responsibilities,” he said, noting the governance structure and transparency will keep improving in the process.

Experts believe that more countries and regions will choose to participate in the establishment of the bank, and the U.S. may be no exception.

“I think they will join because it will be foolish not to,” said Melamed.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will visit China as an envoy of President Barack Obama on Monday and Tuesday, just ahead of the deadline of March 31.








BEIJING  |   2015-03-27 09:41:07


China welcomes Republic of Korea to AIIB


By Wang Hongjiang, Shen Cheng and Han Jie


China’ s Ministry of Finance said on Friday that the country welcomed the decision by the Republic of Korea (ROK) to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

ROK will become a founding member on April 11 if other members approve, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

ROK on Friday announced its application to join the bank as a prospective founding member and submitted its candidacy to China.

The AIIB will be an international financial institution providing support to infrastructure projects in Asia, and is expected to be established by the end of this year.

The application deadline is March 31.

Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg have previously applied.







BEIJING  |   2015-03-27 18:47:32


Luxembourg becomes AIIB’s

prospective founding member


By Li Yan, Shen Cheng and Han Jie


Luxembourg has been approved as one of the prospective founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China’s Ministry of Finance announced on Friday.

The decision was made by all the existing members after discussion, which includes China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Kazakhstan. The total number of prospective founding members has increased to 28.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) announced its application to join the bank on Friday, making it the 37th nation to submit its candidacy. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland have previously announced their applications.

The deadline of application to join the bank is March 31 and the final number of founding members will be confirmed on April 15, after the opinions of all the founding members were drawn and discussed.

The AIIB is expected to be established by the end of this year, with

a mission to support infrastructure projects in Asian counties.

The IMF, World Bank and other leading global lenders have all welcomed collaboration with the new bank to fill in Asia’s infrastructure gap.








BEIJING  |  2015-03-28 21:25:58

China welcomes

Netherlands, Brazil, Georgia to AIIB


By Zhan Yan


China’s Ministry of Finance said Saturday that the country welcomes the decisions of the Netherlands, Brazil and Georgia to apply to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

They will become founding members on April 12 if other members approve, according to a statement on the ministry website.

The AIIB is expected to be founded by the end of this year. It aims to support infrastructure projects in Asia.

The deadline of application is March 31 and the final number of founding members will be confirmed on April 15.








BOAO, Hainan  |   2015-03-28 12:40:19


Russia announces

decision to join AIIB


By Li Laifang, Liu Hua and Guo Xinfeng


Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov said Saturday Russia decided to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the latest country to join as application deadline draws close.

He made the announcement at the 2015 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in the coastal town of China’s southern island province of Hainan.








BEIJING  |   2015-03-29 01:56:42


Denmark applies to join

AIIB as founding member


By Hou Lijun and Liu Dongkai


Denmark on Saturday confirmed its intention to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a founding member.

In a press release offered by the Danish embassy in Beijing, Danish Minister of Trade and Development Mogens Jensen said it is a significant and exciting development in the world order that China is now establishing the AIIB.

Since many Danish trade interests as well as development cooperation interests will be at stake in AIIB, there are many reasons to engage in and influence AIIB’s investment decisions from its beginning, said Jensen.

The final decision on Denmark’ s membership will be concluded in a later stage along with the exact Danish financial support of the activities of the bank, he added.

“I am very happy that our government has taken this step,” said Friis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador to China, adding that by joining the AIIB Denmark can help with the poverty eradication in the region.








CANBERRA  |  2015-03-29 09:26:33


Australia decides 

to join China-proposed AIIB


By Xu Haijing


Australia has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which would allow Australia to become a founding member of the bank, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday of March 29.

In a joint statement with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Treasurer Joe Hockey, Abbott said the MOU will enable Australia ” to participate as a prospective founding member in the negotiation of setting up the bank.”

“The government has discussed the AIIB extensively with China and other key partners inside and outside the region,” the statement said.

“Good progress has been made on the bank’s design, governance and transparency over the past few months, but we still have issues that we will address through ongoing consultations.”

March 31 is the deadline for countries willing to join the China-proposed AIIB as a founding member to flag their intention. Australia’s announcement is well anticipated as senior government officials have been talking about the possibility of Australia joining the bank ever since the UK made clear its intention to join on March 12.

“Recognizing the pressing need for infrastructure investment in the Asia-Pacific, Australia made infrastructure a priority during our G20 presidency in 2014,” the statement said.

“Working with other key multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank, the AIIB has the potential to play a valuable role in addressing infrastructure needs and boosting economic growth in the region with potential benefits for Australia.”

The statement also said key matters to be resolved before Australia considers joining the AIIB include the Bank’s Board of Directors having authority over key investment decisions, and that no one country control the bank.

The Asian Development Bank estimated that there is an 8- trillion-U.S. dollar deficit in Asia’s infrastructure fields, including transport, energy and telecommunication.

It was reported that Australia could invest up to 3 billion AU dollars (2.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the bank, which could lead to a wave of infrastructure development across the Asia-Pacific.

Peter Drysdale, head of ANU’s East Asian Bureau of Economic Research, said Australia and other economies throughout the region “will benefit greatly from investment through the AIIB, directed, as it is intended, towards productive investment in infrastructure that is essential to sustaining regional growth.”

“There is no question that Australia should be among the founding members of AIIB. That is consistent with Australian efforts to work with China to contribute to the establishment of this new multilateral facility for infrastructure investment in the region and beyond,” he wrote in a written interview with Xinhua earlier this month.

“AIIB can play an important role in national projects around the region, including in Australia. It can play a particularly important role in projects, such as transportation infrastructure across the region, that straddle a number of regional economies.”








BEIJING  |   2015-03-29 14:20:39


China welcomes

Denmark, Australia to AIIB


By Han Jie, Shen Cheng and Lin Jianyang


China’s Ministry of Finance on Sunday of March 29 welcomed the decisions of Denmark and Australia to apply to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Denmark filed its application letter on Saturday, while Australia followed on Sunday, the ministry said in a statement.

Should all existing members approve the applications, Denmark will become a founding member of the AIIB on April 12 and Australia on April 13, according to the statement.

The AIIB, which will support infrastructure projects in Asia, is expected to be established by the end of this year.

The application deadline is March 31 and the founding members will be confirmed on April 15.








MADRID  |  2015-03-30 00:33:57


AIIB useful complementary tool

for world financial order: expert


By Paul


China’s efforts to help create the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) symbolize the new financial muscle of the region and China itself, a Spanish expert has said.

The AIIB is a useful complementary tool for world financial order as it provides mechanisms to transfer the global weight of the region’s economies to other areas, said Xulio Rios, director of the Observatory of Chinese Politics.

The bank is a great opportunity for European companies, which helps explain why the governments of the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg have stood up to the initial pressure of the United States to boycott the initiative and have instead voiced their willingness to become members of the bank, according to Rios.

The establishment of the AIIB could serve to reduce Washington’s influence in Asia, Rios said, adding the United States’ firm control of the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank will not be enough to put a brake on China.

Rios believes the voting systems in some international financial organizations have become obsolete and reforms have remained inviable with U.S. opposition.

The following step points towards a greater liberalization of the yuan and its rate of exchange, according to the expert.

Rios highlighted that the conjugation of great financial power of China and improvements in expertise in certain areas have allowed Asia to open the door to a new development impetus from other geopolitical areas of the globe.

The AIIB represents an important challenge for the Japan-U.S. presence of the region, as well as an imminent international institutional renovation.

The bank can become an important geo-strategical tool, which is linked to other projects such as the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road initiative, according to Rios, adding such projects will determine the rise of new economic realities, which do not depend on the West.











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