AIIB chief shrugs off bank skepticism
Published : Jun 1, 2016 - 13:30
Updated : Jun 1, 2016 - 15:17

The president of the fledgling Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun has used a famous quote from British author Jane Austen to hit back at skepticism about China's motivation for creating a multilateral financial institution.

"Skepticism must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure," Jin said replacing "selfishness" in the original quote, with "skepticism".

The AIIB chief shrugged off suspicion and misconception about the AIIB, saying the bank intended to use its performance to earn international trust and credibility.

Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, speaks at the annual board meeting of the Asia News Network held at China Daily in Beijing on Tuesday. Asia News Network

Jin said China had no intention to challenge the existing international financial order, and that the creation of the AIIB was not a threat to other multilateral development banks.

While the U.S. and Japan have declined to join the AIIB, Jin said countries could work together, regardless of bank membership.

"The door has been open and will remain open," Jin said, adding that Japanese companies and the U.S. would be treated equally and with fairness while operating the AIIB.

When asked about whether the AIIB would invest in new technology, Jin said the bank had no interest in replacing the role of venture capital.

"It is not fair to spend the shareholders' money on something dubious. We will apply the new technology but we will not invest in it," Jin said.

But the bank chief said the AIIB would, in the future, expand its investment in physical infrastructure projects to sectors such as education, health care and urban planning and management.

Jin also said projected that AIIB membership will grow to nearly 100 countries and regions by the end of the year.

According to Jin, up to 30 countries are waiting to join the AIIB and about 20 of them have expressed "firm commitment.”

Jin said the bank will soon deliver the first batch of infrastructure projects, which will all be carried out in the Asian member countries. It will also expand its funding for projects in non-Asian countries soon, in particular the countries with strong economic ties with Asia, he added.

"It is gratifying to see that geographically it covers a broad area," Jin said, noting that the bank will announce the second and third batches of the projects by the end of the year.

Jin stressed the inclusive nature of the bank, saying that the bank should be a platform for cooperation and coordination for all players in international economic arena instead of being simply a financial instrument for infrastructure projects.

(Asia News Network)

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