BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — The newly-inaugurated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will bring vitality to regional growth and opportunities for global development, especially for developing economies, overseas experts and scholars have observed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday attended the opening ceremony for the international development bank in Beijing.
“This is a historical moment,” Xi said at the inaugural event that marks a milestone in Asia’s infrastructure construction and sustainable development.
MORE VITALITY FOR REGIONAL STAKEHOLDERS
The AIIB is regarded as a dependable bank which contributes significantly to regional development, said Dr. Maung Maung Thein, deputy finance minister of Myanmar, one of the 57 founding members of the Beijing-initiated multilateral financial institution.
For Indonesia, another Asian country vulnerable to global economic fluctuations, the launching of the AIIB came at a critical moment as the island country seeks to make infrastructure a new driving force for its economy.
Ibrahim Yusuf, executive director of the Indonesia Council on World Affairs, said the AIIB will help finance the infrastructure development in Southeast and South Asia.
The expert hailed the new multilateral mechanism as a supplement and contribution to the existing global financial governance framework.
As most Western countries have suffered economic slowdowns, the global development bank proposed by China could serve as a new funding source for Indonesia, he explained.
The AIIB will foster and promote Asia-centric infrastructure attuned to the needs of local countries, Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer of the U.S. fund company KraneShares, told Xinhua.
The AIIB won’t challenge but complement its Western counterparts, the asset manager stressed, as the demand outstrips the supply of current funding.
He also predicted Asian countries will see their trade with each other grow even larger thanks to the AIIB’s funding in infrastructure development.
STRONGER MOMENTUM FOR DEVELOPMENT OF EMERGING COUNTRIES
The AIIB is bound to play a positive role in promoting global economic growth, said Chen Gang, senior research fellow with the East Asia Institute at the National University of Singapore.
Established mainly by Western powers, the existing financial system has set a lot of limits on developing countries, due to which many of them who were in dire need of financial resources were unable to get funded, further limiting their development, especially in the long run.
The gap can be filled by the AIIB, noted Chen, adding China’s growing national strength will boost the development bank’s financial capability which will be conducive to all countries, particularly developing ones.
Should those developing economies get what is needed for their own infrastructure development, the benefits would go beyond borders.
Ahern said the world economy will benefit from infrastructure being developed in emerging market countries as it can be used in global and regional trade.
Tepid global growth offers an opportunity for job creation and creates new technologies to make trade more efficient, he said.
As the whole world is expecting China to take on more international responsibility, the AIIB should serve as an important platform for the world’s second-largest economy to play its part, Chen said.