Major Asian funding bank reaches 100-member milestone

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) now has 100 approved members after its board of governors backed the applications of three African countries - Benin, Djibouti and Rwanda - during the bank’s annual meeting in Luxembourg.

The milestone was reached in the same week as the AIIB signed co-operation agreements with two global partners as part of its ongoing commitment to expand collaboration with the international community.

AIIB is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, they began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 100 approved members worldwide. 

By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond, they aim to “better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.”

“AIIB members collectively account for 78% of the world’s population and 63% of global GDP. With the backing of all of our members, we are building a lean, clean, and green institution that can help to support their sustainable development.” said AIIB president Jin Liqun.

“AIIB was created by 57 founding members as a multilateral institution focused on supporting sustainable development through infrastructure. That another 43 members have joined in the last three years is recognition that AIIB has established itself as part of the rules-based international system, with strong governance and high international standards,” said AIIB vice president and corporate secretary Sir Danny Alexander, the former Lib Dem minister who was chief secretary of the treasury between 2010-2015. 

“We now have members on every continent, and we welcome the growing interest of African countries in AIIB. We look forward to working with Benin, Djibouti and Rwanda to support their development in the years to come.”

AIIB's inaugural projects ranged from a slum upgrading project in Indonesia to a new pipeline linking gas fields in Azerbaijan to markets in southern Europe, via Turkey. To date, 46 projects in 18 member countries totalling US$8.5bn have been approved.

New estimates by the African Development Bank suggest that Africa’s infrastructure needs amount to US$130–170bn a year, with a financing gap in the range US$68–108 billion. AIIB and the African Development Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April 2018 to enhance collaboration in developing programs, co-financing, and other forms of financial assistance, knowledge and staff exchanges.

The AIIB has also signed new cooperation agreements with two leading global partners as part of its ongoing commitment to expand collaboration with the international community, agreeing MoU’s with:

  • The European Stability Mechanism (ESM), covering technical cooperation, exchange on economic and policy strategy, funding, risk management and legal services.
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to partner in several areas, including co-financing of projects and programs, mobilization of private sector financing and research and analysis. The MoU with the specialized agency of the United Nations has a strong focus on the development of rural infrastructure, renewable energy sources, and climate change adaptation and mitigation - key concerns underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Partnership continues to be a fundamental operating principle of the Bank,” said president Jin. “By working together with ESM and IFAD on joint initiatives and leveraging each other’s expertise we will strengthen our capacity to deliver on our respective missions and benefit our members.” 

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