Beijing, China, July 28, 2020
2020 AIIB Annual Meeting
Opening Ceremony Speech
by AIIB President Jin Liqun
Your Excellency, President Xi Jinping,
Distinguished Governors and Members of the Board of Directors,
Honored guests, partners and the development community at large,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I welcome you all to the 2020 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Annual Meeting. It is a great honor and privilege to have this year’s meeting opened by His Excellency President Xi who—five years ago—set forth his vision for AIIB at our inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors. I am proud that this Bank has become an established member of the MDB family, with broadly recognized success. I also thank you, Minister Liu Kun and the Chinese Government, for the excellent arrangement for our Annual Meeting in Beijing.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to go virtual. We imposed social distancing to contain the virus. But even though we are far apart, our international cooperation has brought us closer through joint efforts to protect the health and well-being of our people.
Before being hit by COVID-19, productivity growth had already weakened substantially in emerging and developing economies. This pandemic has placed huge pressure on AIIB members, particularly lower-income countries and the most vulnerable. Incomes are down. Debts are up. Uncertainty remains. Unless effective measures are taken to reverse this trend, we will suffer the loss of a generation. We will not allow such a disaster to befall our people and future generations.
As part of the coordinated international response to the pandemic, we swiftly pivoted our investment strategy and launched our COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility. To meet immediate demands, we have approved nearly USD6 billion for public health and emergency budgetary support in 12 members. This brings AIIB’s total investment portfolio since 2016 to nearly USD20 billion.
Our Bank is a timely creation. We have unequivocally demonstrated our relevance, potency and capacity to do what is required by AIIB members and their people.
As a new MDB created to improve connectivity and economic integration among its members, AIIB will adhere to its approach to development through investment in infrastructure and other productive sectors. Once the crisis is behind us, we will go back to normal and continue our mainstream business. We will keep our eyes fixed on our long-term objectives.
Over the past four-and-a-half years, we have laid a strong foundation for AIIB’s growth in the future. We have injected new ideas that embed accountability and oversight into our governance. We have assembled a strong team of professionals who have built a robust project pipeline. Our close cooperation with other members of the MDB family has been greatly appreciated by our clients. Over recent decades, never has international cooperation been so crucial, and never has such cooperation proven so effective and so productive.
AIIB has broad-based economic and social development as its fixture on our panoramic horizon. The world is changing rapidly. We provide support to cushion against economic shocks. We ensure growth is inclusive and sustainable. This will require all of our efforts.
We do not have all the answers, but we are committed to doing our part. We are supporting climate change commitments. We are cooperating across regions. We are discovering new ways to increase connectivity and strengthen economies. We are striving to build a world that is financially, socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
Our virtual Annual Meeting today will keep us closer and reinforce our conviction that we will prevail over any challenge or disaster of the worst description. Together, we will make the world better. Thank you!
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