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New Asian lender to start operations this year

Chen Jia
Updated: Mar 5,2015 8:03 AM     China Daily

Construction work on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS Development Bank is expected to be completed by the end of this year and both organizations are set to commence lending operations this year, Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said on March 4.

The two organizations will strengthen China’s economic ties with other nations, he said, adding that prospective member countries are accelerating the approval process and extending full support for cross-border projects.

The AIIB will cooperate with existing international economic organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, and will not aspire to replace any of them, said Zhu.

Fu Ying, a spokeswoman for the annual session of the country’s top legislature, said on March 4 that the AIIB and Silk Road Fund are designed to bring China’s development fruits to its neighboring countries and regions by creating a new cooperation agreement in the area.

The “One Belt, One Road” initiatives, brought up by President Xi Jinping last year, have the same aim, she said. The future benefit of the initiatives can be gauged from the Kunming-Bangkok Road, which was jointly constructed by China, Laos and Thailand.

China will adopt a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy this year also, but the fiscal policy will be more inclined to be “proactive” based on further fine-tuning to prevent any unexpected sharp slowdown, said Zhu.

The government will curb the fast expansion of local debt, and the bottom line is to avoid regional and systemic financial risks, he said.

This year the global economy will face the most complicated and challenging situation since the 2008 global financial crisis, as the major economies have announced contrary monetary policies and the oil price is declining. Emerging markets will have more difficulties in economic development than before, said Zhu.

“China should pay more attention to the ongoing changes and adopt proper solutions to avoid large risks. Stabilizing domestic growth and deepening reforms is the best way to deal with external uncertainties.” The ongoing economic reforms should also address issues arising from the earlier stimulus package, he said.

“We expect the US Federal Reserve may raise benchmark interest rates in June. China and the US should keep close communication on macro policies based on the China-US economic dialogue mechanism. We will adjust our policies as and when required,” Zhu said.

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