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AIIB to have its headquarters in Beijing


06-29-2015 12:42 BJT

With the 57 prospective founding countries of the AIIB gathered here in Beijing to sign the Articles of Agreement, the bank is one step closer to financing infrastructure construction on the continent. The AIIB is expected to be officially established by the end of this year, and will have its headquarters in Beijing. So with less than half a year until its grand opening, is the city ready? And what are the expectations from prospective founding member countries?

At the heart of the Chinese capital, inside Beijing’s innermost second Ring Road. lies the new home of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The building looks almost ready, but minor renovation work is still underway.

When the AIIB finally begins operations by the end of this year, it will have its headquarters in the financial street. A number of infrastructure projects for Asia are expected to get its financial backing here. And according to experts, the institution itself will be a very useful addition to existing multilateral institutions and beneficial to global governance.

Once it begins operations, the AIIB will join the ranks of multilateral development banks, alongside the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and Africa Development Bank.

As one of the 57 prospective founding members, Australia has pledged around US $700 million to the AIIB over five years to become the sixth largest shareholder.

"With through the AIIB to some extend they will hopefully carry Australian companies into the region, one of the important was about jobs and that’s obviously a big focus. I think Australian companies being engaging in Asia and the one belt one road region which AIIB are active is very important," Tom Luckock, secretary of Australian Chamber Of Commerce, Beijing, said.

With initial capital of US$100 billion, the AIIB aims to lend money to build roads, mobile phone towers and other much-needed infrastructure in poorer parts of Asia.

"It’s good to have partners from Europe to join the bank. They are fairly strong economies they have the capacity to contribute. I think it is like bringing all these members of the bank on a single platform around the table," Pakistani Ambassador To China Masood Khalid said.

Though the US and Japan have not signed on to join, other economic heavyweights have praised the AIIB’s first steps.

"China has been very open and transparent in the progress, the charter has been putting in place, employment is based on merit. These things are all countries are very comfortable with it," Tom said.

With 57 prospective founding members signing the articles of agreement this week, the AIIB has taken yet a concrete step forward with its operations.

But as Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has said this is just the first step in what is a long road.

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