Chinese President, Xi Jinping

Chinese President, Xi Jinping has declared the signing of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agreement as a ‘historic step’ towards building the China-initiated multilateral development bank.

“The signing of the document reveals the commitment of the parties involved in the founding of the AIIB, as well as their solidarity, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness and quest for common development,” Xi Jinping told representatives of the 57 prospective founding countries.

“The founding countries have reached a high-quality agreement today. As long as all parties stick to the spirit of multilateral cooperation, we can make the AIIB a new platform that features openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefits, and contribute to Asian infrastructure development,” the Chinese leader adds.

The 60-article agreement specified each member’s share as well as the bank’s governance structure and policy-making mechanism. The AIIB will have authorized capital of US$100 billion and Asian and Oceanian countries will contribute up to 75 percent of the total capital. Each member will be allocated a share of quota based on their economic size, with China, India and Russia being the three largest shareholders.

President Xi Jinping proposed the AIIB in October 2013 with a claim that it would help address regional infrastructure bottlenecks and capital constraints, and enhance regional trade connections and interconnectivity.

President Xi Jinping told participants at the signing ceremony that since China’s reform and opening up, its economic and social development has benefited from the support of multilateral banks such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank as well as other countries. But time has come for the Asian super power to chart its own course and make its contributions.

“As China grows stronger, we are willing to make our due contribution to world development. We will continue to support existing multilateral banks, and by proposing the AIIB, we also hope to promote current institutions to better meet the requirement of their member countries and global economic system changes,” President Xi Jinping declared.

According to him, the AIIB will complement current global financial institutions. “China will make joint efforts with various founding countries to build a professional, efficient and clean multilateral bank, and jointly contribute to Asia and world economic prosperity,” he said.

By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)

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