Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 腾讯微博 Wednesday 3 June 2015

AIIB attracts more countries to join initiative of common development

(Xinhua)    15:45, March 19, 2015

BEIJING, March 19 -- As the application deadline draws near, more European countries confirmed intentions to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and showed great interests in the China-proposed initiative.

After Germany, France and Italy confirmed on Tuesday their respective intentions to become the China-based AIIB founding members in the wake of Britain's application last week, Luxembourg has also submitted its candidacy, Finance Ministry of Luxembourg Pierre Gramegna confirmed to Xinhua on Wednesday.

"With its adherence to the AIIB initiative, Luxembourg, as an important international financial center hosting an increasing number of Asian banks and a facilitator of investments between Europe and Asia, is ready to further develop its role as bridge-builder and gateway between the two continents," the minister said in an interview with Xinhua.

He said Luxembourg will work hard with other founding members to ensure that the AIIB will meet the highest and most stringent standards in terms of good governance, transparent lending policies, social and environmental safeguards as well as state-of-the-art procurement guidelines.

Luxembourg is a reliable partner in international development cooperation and would like to further extend its commitment towards multilateral aid mechanisms, in particular in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement on Tuesday, voicing their intention "to become founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank."

"France, Italy and Germany, in close coordination with international and European partners, are keen to work with the AIIB founding members to establish an institution that follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies," the Italian Economy and Finance ministry said Tuesday.

French government spokesman Romain Nadal told Xinhua that the AIIB would not only participate in the economic and social development of the region, but would also contribute to global economic growth.

France is eager to work together with other prospective founding members of the AIIB to create the institution, he added.

Besides, Australian leaders have been lining up over the past few days to voice support for joining the AIIB.

Under pressure from the United States, which views the AIIB as a potential rival to the Washington-based World Bank, the eurozone's largest economies still expressed their willingness to get involved in the 50-billion-U.S.-dollar initiative.

This did not only indicate that the AIIB has a promising future, but also showed the idea of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, advocated by China, has been accepted by Europe.

As the future of the world's economy will be centered in Asia, huge potential in its infrastructure construction will bring tremendous business opportunities to the world, experts say. By joining the bank, the European countries have actually booked their shares in Asia's booming investment.

"Under-investment in infrastructure is a global challenge. In Asia, as in Europe, there are extensive needs for investment. Increased investment in Asia's infrastructure is highly welcome and is also a business opportunity for EU companies," said Mina Andreeva, European Commission spokesperson.

In building the bank and cooperation with participants, China upholds an open and inclusive attitude, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, adding that Beijing is confident that the AIIB will become a sound platform for Asian economic development.

Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Center for International Political Economy, said that China has signaled its capacity and determination to create the AIIB and that has motivated European governments.

In addition, the AIIB, featured by common cooperation and win-win results, is neither an attempt to erode multilateral institutions such as the World Bank nor a call to re-create world power structures along the lines of China's interests, it is a complement to the system of global governance.

"I don't buy the grand geopolitical rhetoric about emerging rivalry between a Chinese (China-based) AIIB and a U.S.-based World Bank. If the United States were so keen on the World Bank and development assistance, why have successive governments and Congressional majorities been so reluctant to fund the World Bank?" Erixon told Xinhua.

Thus, it is easy to understand why C. Fred Bergsten, senior fellow and director emeritus at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that the United States has made a mistake in resisting joining the AIIB.

Twenty-one countries including China, India and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing in October last year to build the bank.

So far, at least 30 countries have applied to jointly build the bank as founding members. The application deadline is on March 31.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Huang Jin)

Add your comment

Related reading

We Recommend

Most Viewed


Key Words