The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank shares the same vision as the Belt and Road Initiative of promoting broad-based social and economic development in countries and regions related to the initiative, the bank’s president said on May 14.
Jin Liqun said the AIIB is one of the partners of the initiative, and its role is similar to that of the World Bank and other multilateral development institutions in supporting the financing for projects under the program.
The AIIB will continue to expand its membership, which is expected to reach 85 by the end of this year, he added.
On May 13, the bank announced approval of seven new members, bringing its total membership to 77.
“It is very much clear that we are an international financial institution and we serve the interest of all members of the bank,” Jin said at a panel discussion of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
The AIIB, whose headquarters are in Beijing, has been a key financier for infrastructure projects in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
“Dialogue, cooperation and shared benefits are the prerequisites for members to embrace the initiative,” Jin said during a recent interview with Chinese media.
The AIIB chief said the initiative represents a form and direction of future cooperation among countries and regions, stressing that the projects must be financially and environmentally sustainable.
Jin offered an example of a power project, financed by the AIIB in Bangladesh, that uses modern technology to improve the country’s energy efficiency and reduce pollution.
“Our job is not just to put some money in a particular country,” Jin said, adding that the bank would like to see infrastructure projects that it has funded improve regional coordination and enable members to gain from its investment.
The AIIB so far has approved loans exceeding $2 billion for overseas infrastructure and energy projects, according to the bank’s website.
The bank said earlier that it will focus on three major areas this year－sustainable infrastructure, connectivity and the mobilization of private capital.
It will prioritize cross-border infrastructure across Asia and beyond to increase connectivity among countries, the bank said.