Baku. 16 January. REPORT.AZ/ World Bank's alternative opens in Beijing, Report informs Russian RBK says.
The $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) backed by China formally launched operations in Beijing on Saturday, with Chinese President Xi Jinping saying the "historic" initiative would focus on boosting investment for infrastructure projects in Asia.
The launch was attended by representatives from 57 member countries including India, which will be the bank's second-biggest shareholder, contributing $8 billion, second to China's $29.7 billion.
The bank will focus on infrastructure financing and will begin issuing loans later this year, starting with coordinating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on projects.
On Sunday and Monday, the bank's board of governors, including representatives from all 57 countries, and its board of directors, will hold their first formal meetings in Beijing. India will be represented by Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Dinesh Sharma. The bank's members include Australia, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.
The idea for the bank was proposed by China in October 2013, part of Beijing's efforts to reform what it sees as the US-dominated global financial architecture. China, along with India, has been calling for reforming the IMF and World Bank to better reflect the rising economic weight of emerging countries. Beijing also sees the ADB as being US and Japan dominated.
While the US and Japan have stayed away from the initiative, bringing 57 countries on board despite American opposition, including US allies such as South Korea and the UK., was seen as somewhat of a diplomatic coup for Beijing.
Launching the bank, President Xi said it would "effectively boost investment for infrastructure in Asia, channel more resources, particularly private investment for infrastructure projects, and promote regional connectivity and economic integration."
Xi said the founding of the bank "means a great deal to the reform of the global economic governance system" and would "make the global economic governance system more just, equitable and effective."
In addition to China's $29.7 billion stake, Xi announced on Saturday that Beijing would add $50 million towards a fund to promote infrastructure development projects in less developed countries.