AIIB approves special fund for members' projects

BEIJING • The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a special fund to support members for project preparations.

China will make a contribution of US$50 million (S$68 million) to the fund, AIIB president Jin Liqun said at a news conference yesterday during the AIIB's inaugural meeting in Beijing. He added that the bank will receive applications for new numbers before the end of September.

The bank and the Chinese government also emphasised cooperation with other multilateral development banks. "AIIB should learn from the successful experience of other multilateral agencies and forge close partnerships with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other institutions," said Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli at the meeting's opening ceremony.

It is also crucial for the AIIB to comply with multilateral agency procedures and rules, he added. Mr Jin said the bank "is committed to working together with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other organisations on the initiative to formulate quantitative targets for high-quality infrastructure investment".

The bank's board approved its first four deals worth US$509 million last Friday, with three projects co-financed with other global banks.

"We are working on a number of additional projects and look forward to bringing them to our board for its approval later this year," said Mr Jin.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah, who led a delegation to the meeting, congratulated Mr Jin and AIIB's founding members on the "significant progress" made, and said Singapore was "strongly committed to working closely with the bank and its member countries".

Singapore's Ministry of Finance, in a statement released yesterday, said Ms Rajah proposed three areas the bank could prioritise to foster sustainable economic development in Asia.

One of these is to actively foster strategic partnerships with other institutions "to increase the efficacy and relevancy" of AIIB operations.

She also suggested the bank invest in innovative and energy-efficient urban infrastructure projects, and focus on improving trade and the economic competitiveness of Asia through better connectivity.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 26, 2016, with the headline 'AIIB approves special fund for members' projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe