Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank To Increase Financing To US$4 Billion This Year

AIIB 2019 Budget
The logo of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is seen at its headquarter building in Beijing (Photo: Reuters)

In a statement made earlier in the week, the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Jin Liqun, announced that they would be significantly increasing their goal for infrastructure projects in 2019. The international financial institution revealed that their goal will be to finance different projects around the world worth around US$4 billion. This would be a 20 percent increase over last year's numbers, which was a little over US$3.2 billion.

The bank's president explained that the increase doesn't necessarily mean that they are looking for more projects to finance this year. The company still wants to be prudent in choosing the best projects to finance through "meticulous feasibility studies." The bank's president added that while the number of projects they will be financing will be important, they are still aiming for quality this year. The bank has helped companies and governments in Asia build roads, power lines, power plans, ports, railways, and other infrastructures over the years. 

Since its inception in 2014, the AIIB has recruited more than 69 member countries. There are also now 24 prospective member countries that are interested in joining. The initiative, which was first proposed by China, aims to provide support for different infrastructure projects around the Asia-Pacific region. It has so far achieved that goal and has received the highest credit rating from the three largest rating institutions in the world. The international bank is even seen by some investors as a potential rival to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

While the AIIB has mostly been funding infrastructure projects in Asian counties, the bank is now looking to expand its reach to other parts of the world. According to Jin, the bank will still be focusing on financing projects in Asia, but it will start to prioritize efforts in other parts of the world such as in Pakistan and Egypt. The AIIB has already financed a number of projects in those countries and it aims to continue that trend this year.

The AIIB also revealed its plans to start working with countries that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. The bank has already financed a number of projects in Jordan, which is also a member of the GCC. Jin also announced that to achieve this goal, he has already set a meeting with the UAE's deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan at the upcoming World Government Summit in Dubai this week. 

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