Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank should promote more infrastructure development across the world with its number of members increasing from 57 to 102, spanning across continents.
The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), launched in 2016, is a multilateral development bank that aims to support building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
China is the largest shareholder of the bank with 26.06 per cent voting rights. India is the second-largest shareholder with 7.5 per cent followed by Russia at 5.93 per cent and Germany at 4.5 per cent.
"Let us aim at development for all and make the AIIB a new type of multilateral development bank that promotes development across the world," Xi said in his address.
"For countries to develop together, infrastructure connectivity serves as an important physical foundation. The AIIB should commit itself to serving the development needs of all its members and providing more high-quality, low-cost and sustainable investment for both traditional and new types of infrastructure. This will give renewed impetus to economic and social development in Asia and beyond," he said.
"The (AIIB) initiative is designed to develop infrastructure and connectivity in Asia and deepen regional cooperation for shared development," Xi said.
He said the bank “got off to a good start”. “From the 57 founding members to today''s membership of 102 (countries) spanning the six continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania, the AIIB has grown from strength to strength and provided nearly USD 20 billion in infrastructure investment to its members”, he said.
The AIIB, which has Indian DJ Pandian as its vice president, last month approved a USD 750-million loan to India to assist the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-financed with the Asian Development Bank, the budgetary support will go towards bolstering economic aid for businesses, including for the informal sector, expanding social safety nets for the needy, and strengthening the country's health care systems, a press release from the bank said.
The AIIB's total sovereign loans to India that have already been approved amounts to USD 3.06 billion, the release added.