AIIB injects new vitality to infrastructure development

When it comes to Asia’s infrastructure gap governments need to take the first step experts say

"The Belt and Road is a marvelous program. but we have our standards", he told a Saturday news conference on the South Korean holiday island of Jeju.

Poor infrastructure in Latin American countries has led to low trade facilitation and less favorable environment for both foreign trade and capital inflow, Yang noted, adding that an AIIB membership will help improve their trade and investment environment as well as worldwide competitiveness.

The Asian Development Bank earlier said Asia has an estimated US$1.7 trillion infrastructure gap if it continues to develop at current growth rates. After ratifications were received from ten member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock, the bank started operation on December 25, 2015.

Despite the lack of experience of the newest global financial institution, Song said the AIIB has an advantage of making a fast decision by the decision-making body.

But the bank did get pushback from environmental groups about its commitment to being green, with several NGOs saying they were disappointed the bank's new energy industry strategy, adopted Thursday, left the door open for coal sector investment.

Likewise, the Bank will provide Rs 22 billion to upgrade the Samakhusi-Tokha road in Kathmandu, Rs 16 billion to expand the Pokhara-Beni-Jomsom road and Rs 18 billion to construct the Tamakoshi III hydro-electricity project. China owns 32.3 percent in the AIIB, followed by India with 9.08 percent, Russian Federation with 7.09 percent and Germany with 4.87 percent. Korea has a 4.06 percent stake. "We have every reason to be optimistic about our ability to accomplish what we have set as our goals", said Jin.

In a separate meeting with Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley the two sides stressed the need for facilitating the use of credit lines opened by the two countries' banking sectors.

The three-day meeting at the International Convention Center was attended by about 2,000 including delegations from both 57 founding members and 20 new members, international organizations and academia, as well as businessmen, financiers and journalists.

Sessions were held to help Korean companies enter the Asian infrastructure market including forums on investments, one-on-one business meetings, seminars and exhibition on the latest technologies.

The Korea Land and Housing Corporation showcased a Korean version of a smart city and the Korea Expressway Corporation and Korea Railroad Corporation introduced technologies related to highways and high-speed railways. When reporters asked Jin for his position on NGOs' view that the AIIB should not invest in coal projects, Jin said, "The AIIB is planning to actively implement member states' Paris climate change agreement".

"We are honored to become the host country for the third AIIB Annual Meeting". Finance Minister Kim, who gave a speech at the opening ceremony, emphasized the importance of "harmony".

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