LONDON Mar. 13 (People's Daily Online) -- The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced yesterday that the UK intends to become a prospective founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). In doing so, the UK is the first major Western country to seek to join the AIIB.
Once fully operational the AIIB will support access to finance for infrastructure projects across Asia, using a variety of support measures to boost investment across a range of sectors including transportation, energy, telecommunication, agriculture and urban development.
George Osborne said: "This government has actively promoted closer political and economic engagement with the Asia-Pacific region and forging links between the UK and Asian economies to give our companies the best opportunity to work and invest in the world's fastest growing markets is a key part of our long term economic plan. Joining the AIIB at the founding stage will create an unrivalled opportunity for the UK and Asia to invest and grow together."
Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation comments: "The Chancellor's announcement of the UK applying to be the first major Western member of the AIIB further demonstrates the importance of the Asian market to the UK. With more than 20 Asian countries signed as funding members, the bank will contribute more funding for development of infrastructure in this region. Infrastructure, advanced engineering, financial services, and green technology are the areas where the UK excels and industries that are in increasingly high demand as the Asian economies continue to grow rapidly. Further engagement in these areas are new ways to support the development of the comprehensive strategic partnerships between the UK and its Asian partners."