China-backed AIIB ‘on track to meet 2016 lending targets’

The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is “on track” to meet its big first-year targets, including lending US$1.2 billion by the end of 2016, bank president Jin Liqun said on Friday.

After bringing many US allies on board and a high-profile launch in January, the multilateral lender moved onto the business of raising funds, gaining expertise, and recruiting experienced executives.

The bank, part of Beijing’s push to expand its regional clout, has lent US$829 million to six projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

China unveiled plans for the AIIB in 2013 in a move seen as a challenge to the dominance of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The AIIB was set up to help meet the massive demand for infrastructure in Asia and as a key part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” strategy, an attempt to revive the ancient maritime and silk trade routes.

Jin, who used to work at the Ministry of Finance, has repeatedly said the bank will be lean and clean, and will not “set up a separate kitchen” to overthrow the existing system of multilateral institutions.

“China and some emerging economies in Asia are testament to economic development through infrastructure investment. Since opening up, China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty, largely a result of economic and social development via infrastructure investment.”

The AIIB enlisted 57 members, including Britain and Germany, as its founding parties. In August, Canada officially applied for membership, a move deemed as “a vote of confidence” in the bank, Jin said.

Full article: China-backed AIIB ‘on track to meet 2016 lending targets’ (South China Morning Post)

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