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Beijing to host 1st AIIB meeting

Zheng Yangpeng
Updated: Jan 7,2016 9:19 AM     China Daily

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is to hold its annual meetings in June each year, with the first being convened this year in Beijing, according to a Finance Ministry official.

The meeting will come just five months after the bank becomes formally operational this month, according to the official.

The first meetings of the bank’s board of governors and board of directors, due to be held from Jan 16 to 18, will elect the first president and 12 constituency directors. It will also draw up rules on operations, financing and human resources.

The AIIB’s annual meetings will gather governors-usually represented by finance ministers of each founding member. The meetings could also be held in other cities, the official said.

When the $100 billion multilateral lender was formally launched on Dec 25, 17 prospective founding members, representing 50.1 percent of the subscribed capital, had seen their domestic legislatures ratify the bank’s charter-a critical condition for the bank to be legally valid.

Since then, another two members, Russia and the Maldives, have approved the charter, with the 19 countries representing 56.77 percent of the subscribed capital.

The other 38 prospective founding members are expected to have the charter-formally known as the Articles of Agreement-approved domestically before the deadline at the end of this year.

Countries that have not formally subscribed to the charter will be allowed to take part in this month’s board of governors and directors meetings as observers and constituency representatives.

The AIIB is likely to welcome more countries this year. Nations can join as long as they receive approval from more than half of the governors who hold more than half of the voting rights.

Jin Liqun, president-designate of the bank, wrote in an article published in People’s Daily on Dec 5 that the first loans are expected to be granted in the second quarter.

Initial priority financing sectors include energy and power, communications, rural development, water supply and treatment, environmental protection and logistics.

Jin said the AIIB is committed to investing in digital infrastructure.

The bank has been born in the information era, so Internet-based innovative thinking and the ability to contribute to information infrastructure will become the bank’s “unique advantage”.

It can also draw on the experience of established multilateral development banks, giving it another advantage, Jin said.

“The AIIB will seriously study the Chinese government’s Internet Plus strategy and the European Union’s Digital Single Market initiative as well as other digital initiatives proposed by developing countries,” Jin added.

A bank is born

October 2013: President Xi Jinping, in a speech in Jakarta, proposes AIIB as an institution that will finance infrastructure construction and promote regional connections.

Oct 24, 2014: 21 Asian countries sign MOU on establishing the bank.

March 2015: Britain applies to join AIIB as prospective founding member, followed by France, Italy and Germany.

April 15: Number of AIIB prospective founding members finalized at 57.

June 29: Delegates from the 57 attend signing ceremony for the Articles of Agreement.

Dec 25: AIIB formally established in Beijing as AOA take effect.

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