Beijing, June 25, 2016
President’s Opening Statement 2016 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Dear Mr. Vice Premier, Mr. Chairman, Governors, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great privilege and an honor to address you today at the first Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Distinguished Vice Premier, thank you very much for your excellent speech. We will keep in mind your guidance. We at AIIB are committed to doing a good job, and we thank you for your support. Nearly one year ago this week, on June 29, 2015, the representatives of the Bank’s Founding Members signed its Articles of Agreement here in Beijing, home to its Headquarters. That was the point of departure, where we set forth on the historical journey, the ‘journey of promise’ towards building a new type multilateral financial institution -- one designed specifically to tackle the challenges, and to meet the current and emerging needs, of its broad 21st century shareholder and stakeholder base.
Six months later, on January 16, 2016, distinguished Governors, you convened to officially launch the opening of the Bank. The shared vision, common goals and values which underpin this institution’s great potential led to the fast convergence of views and positions among Bank members about how this new Bank was to be designed, built and managed. Such smoothness and efficiency in reaching consensus on the establishment of this Bank is truly amazing.
Today, with six months of operational experience under our belts, I am delighted to report to you that the Bank has begun to deliver on the commitments that it has made to you, our founding members, and to the broader global community – to exercise exemplary organizational performance and corporate governance, and to deliver timely, cost effective and sustainable infrastructure financing and services to our clients -- always mindful of the need to protect the natural and human environment.
I will report to you in detail on the Bank’s first six months of operation and the future opportunities and challenges in the first session of the Governors’ meeting. For now, suffice it to say that a sound corporate culture is taking shape. We have an outstanding management team, working in close collaboration with shareholders, clients, the financial community, development partners and other stakeholders. We are recruiting in-house talents in measured steps, making sure that the Bank’s staff have professional and ethical integrity, full of passion and vigor in their service of this Bank. Our financial position is robust and will be increasingly stronger. We have delivered our first projects, and, together with our clients, are building a multi- year pipeline of diverse projects. And, just yesterday, the Directors approved the establishment of a Special Fund to support members with project preparation. Please allow me, on behalf of the Bank, to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the People’s Republic of China, the first donor to this Fund, for its generous and timely contribution which will allow the Fund to commence operations in the Fall.
Over the coming years, as we substantiate, deepen and refine our strategy and deliver strong operational results, the Bank looks to take its place as one of the leading multilateral financial institutions for cutting edge infrastructure investments and as a pacesetter for public-private partnerships. We will place a premium on supporting infrastructure projects with significant cross-border benefits. We will prioritize sound ‘green’ infrastructure investments, promoting energy efficiency, renewables, clean transport and other projects that help reduce global warming. And we will do a good job of mobilizing resources from the private sector to ease the pressure on the balance sheets of the sovereign governments in their efforts to speed up infrastructure development.
As the newest member of the MDB family with its special features, AIIB offers a fresh platform for enriched cooperation and enhanced regional connectivity and integration. As a global partner, the Bank strongly supports the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and is committed to working together with the World Bank, ADB and other organizations on the initiative to formulate quantitative targets for high-quality infrastructure investment. The Bank will work with its members to help them to meet their Paris Agreement goals to combat climate change and will also support the G20 global infrastructure connectivity alliance initiative, which is aimed at strengthening synergy and cooperation among regional programs.
Given the growing importance of MDB cooperation, we have organized two seminars to take place tomorrow: the Infrastructure and Global Economic Growth session will focus on opportunities for cooperation among MDBs and development partners to help bridge the infrastructure financing gap. The seminar on Financing Green Infrastructure will highlight how MDBs can work with clients and development partners to ensure that new infrastructure investments support the outcome of COP21. I invite all present to join us in these timely conversations. We also look forward to welcoming guests from business, academia and civil society at the seminars.
Today’s convocation is a milestone for the Bank. On this occasion, please allow me to take a moment to once again acknowledge our deep gratitude and thanks to you, our Board of Governors. Your vision has given birth to this institution, and your continued support will ensure its healthy upbringing. You have provided the GPS to its navigation, and the Board of Directors you have elected will exercise their oversight duties to ensure that the Bank will move forward unswervingly on the charted course.
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the 24 representatives of potential applicants who would like to join this Bank. The AIIB looks forward to receiving applications from those who are interested before the deadline of September 30, 2016. We look forward to new members joining the Bank from early in 2017.
And finally, I would also like to express thanks and appreciation to our host, the Government of China, and the Beijing Municipal Government, for their exemplary support in facilitating the first Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We would like to extend our deepest thanks to you once again.
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