AIIB president: AIIB born with Chinese birthmark, grows with international support
By Zou Yun
"This bank was born with a birthmark of China, but it has been brought up in the international family." This is what Jin Liqun, inaugural President and Chairman of the Board of Directors at AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), depicts as the gene of the bank.
When it was first launched in January 2016, AIIB was met with doubt and criticism. Many wondered what the need for such a bank was, and what China was up to.
Since then, AIIB has become a reputable financial institution, reiterating that it is not controlled nor dominated by China.
After three years in operation, AIIB president Jin Liqun believes that the bank has achieved a lot, including having all the major policies approved by the board, recruiting talents from around the globe, as well as rolling out lending programs with a value of 7.5 billion U.S. dollars.
“This bank came into being at a crucial moment, when infrastructure investment is overaged, when so many developing countries are fully aware of the importance of infrastructure. And our operation is very much timely for a number of countries. ”
Jin: More member states indicate vote of confidence
Over the past three years, the bank's membership has increased from 57 founders to 93 approved members. Jin Liqun told CGTN that the fast expansion of the membership indicates a vote of confidence in the bank.
"Over the last three years, we maintain the principle of high standard and transparency. We think it's important to run the bank as a multilateral institution with 21st-century governance," he said.
"So more and more countries are attracted to this institution, believing that AIIB can implement the mission of improving regional and international cooperation, strengthen connectivity, paving the path for sustained economic and social development,” he added.
Jin: Door remains open for other countries to join
When asked about whether the United States and Japan have expressed interest to join the bank, Jin Liqun said whether to join the bank or not is the decision of any sovereign government, yet the door of the bank remains open for those who are willing to join.
Jin added that though the U.S. and Japan are not members yet, AIIB has maintained close discussions with those two countries on various layers, including government, think tanks and financial institutions.
Moreover, there have been and would be more cooperation conducted with American and Japanese firms, generated by the contracts of projects competing in the international arena.
Jin: The bank has zero tolerance for corruption
Prior to his position at AIIB, Jin had extensive experience in Chinese governmental departments, multilateral development banks and financial firms. Yet for him, being the first Chinese national to serve as the president of a multilateral development bank is a unique experience.
"I know how important it is for me to do a good job. It's not my personal credibility, it's for the credibility of China. If I can live up to the expectations of all the shareholders, I think the international community would have more confidence in Chinese professionals managing the international institutions."
In his opinion, the most important thing for the operation of AIIB is that it has to be squeaky clean, with zero tolerance for corruption.
“There's a saying: the fish starts rotting from the head. If the head is not rotten, is not corrupted, the institution will be doing fine. ”
Looking forward, Jin Liqun told CGTN that the bank has already started working on other productive sectors apart from infrastructure. As infrastructure only paves the path for growth, there need to be multiple sectors working together for sustained economic and social development.