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AIIB Chief Notes Role of Bank as ‘Inspiration’ for Others

April 13, 2016 (EIRNS)—AIIB President, Jin Liqun, in Washington for the IMF/World Bank annual meetings was hosted at a forum, sponsored by the Asia Society. During the questioning by the moderator, Kevin Rudd, and by the audience, the questions were generally of a more technical nature. When asked about the New Development Bank, he simply said that China would not need to ask for loans from that bank, as they had sufficient financing for their projects. He was asked, at the end, a broader question by EIR, regarding the systemic financial crisis. EIR Washington correspondent Bill Jones asked Jin.

“The world has been excited by the creation of the AIIB and the Belt and Road project with its focus on infrastructural investment. And I think this has served to create a renewed interest on infrastructure investment even by the World Bank and the ADB. This would represent a great boon for the future of mankind if it occurred in a different financial climate. But the world is in the throes of a crisis with an estimated two quadrillion dollars of unpayable debt. And unless this situation is resolved, the good work that has been done in infrastructure will come to naught. Do you have any recommendations to the upcoming G20 meeting in Hangzhou with regard to addressing this problem?”

Jones asked.

Jin gave a rather lengthy reply to this question.

“The G-20 would like the AIIB to promote infrastructural investment. I think that there is also a huge need for such investment even in the developed countries,”

Jin said.

“I don’t believe that creating one single institution will do a lot in improving the entire system. But this is actually a request from the G20 meeting, and it certainly holds the multilateral development banks responsible for working closely together. But I do think that one new institution, based on the experience of the existing ones, could be a force of inspiration for the existing ones, and they can then work together to improve the entire system. So that is very important to keep in mind.

“Some people worry a lot that the AIIB will up-end the existing financial system. But this is not possible. They are confusing two different things: one is the system, the other is the components or the elements. By creating new elements, you cannot throw out the whole system. But, of course, by working together we can improve the system And this is probably the role we play, not just by being a new bank, but in collaboration with the different elements. So, when we talk about cooperation between the AIIB and the ADB and World Bank and EBRD, we do not look primarily at the financing of the projects. Rather, we work together on how we can improve the responsiveness to the client countries; how we can better harmonize our policies; how we can do all of this more cost effectively, making the shareholders’ and the taxpayers’ money go a long way. And this cooperation will probably go beyond the so-called co-financing in a very narrow sense. And I am looking at this, and that is why our conversations with all these institutions is so fruitful and productive.”

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