Governance of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Comparative Context
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was launched in 2016 with governance arrangements that build on the foundations of its progenitors, with adaptations and updates reflecting AIIB’s own focus and founders. AIIB follows multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Inter-American Development Bank in its governance structure (Board of Governors, Board of Directors and President). AIIB includes expanded powers for the Board of Governors to add flexibility in areas such as new types of financing and assistance to non-members. AIIB’s Board of Directors serve on a part-time non-resident basis, with detailed powers for policy, oversight and delegation. AIIB’s President is limited to two terms. AIIB’s voting structure is tied to shareholding but less so than in many other MDBs, as basic votes for all members and Founding Member Votes for founders reduce the impact of shareholding to less than 90 percent of total voting power. The underlying comparisons with other MDBs are spelled out in detail in this chapter, summarizing AIIB’s heritage and innovation in governance.
Natalie Lichtenstein is an Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC. She was formerly the Inaugural General Counsel for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Assistant General Counsel at the World Bank. This article draws in part upon her book, see Natalie Lichtenstein, A Comparative Guide to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (OUP 2018).
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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank whose mission is financing the Infrastructure for Tomorrow—infrastructure with sustainability at its core. We began operations in Beijing in January 2016 and have since grown to 105 approved members worldwide. We are capitalized at USD100 billion and Triple-A-rated by the major international credit rating agencies. Working with partners, AIIB meets clients’ needs by unlocking new capital and investing in infrastructure that is green, technology-enabled and promotes regional connectivity.
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