|Signing of AIIB agreement is historic step: President Xi|
President Xi Jinping said Monday the signing of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agreement is a historic step forward in building the China-initiated multilateral bank.
"The signing of the document reveals the commitment of the parties involved in the founding of the AIIB, as well as their solidarity, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness and quest for common development," Xi told representatives of the 57 prospective founding countries.
The 60-article agreement specified each member's share as well as the bank's governance structure and policy-making mechanism.
The bank will have authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and Asian and Oceanian countries will contribute up to 75 percent of the total capital. Each member will be allocated a share of quota based on their economic size. China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders.
China proposed the AIIB to boost Asia's infrastructure improvement, interconnectivity and regional cooperation.
"The founding countries have reached a high-quality agreement today. As long as all parties stick to the spirit of multilateral cooperation, we can make the AIIB a new platform that features openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefits, and contribute to Asian infrastructure development," said the president.
Vice-President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of Federal Department of Economic Affairs Johann Schneider-Ammann; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of New Zealand Bill English; and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of the Republic of Korea Choi Kyung-hwan were speakers at the meeting with Xi on behalf of other representatives.
They lauded the China-proposed AIIB as timely and important, adding that along with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the bank would help address regional infrastructure bottlenecks and capital constraints, and enhance regional trade connections and interconnectivity.
In particular, they said, the proposals would assist countries with weak infrastructure and they believe the AIIB will become a pragmatic and efficient member among international financial institutions.
Xi said that since China's reform and opening up, its economic and social development has benefited from the support of multilateral banks such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank as well as other countries.
"China's development would not have been possible without Asia and the world," he said.
"As China grows stronger, we are willing to make our due contribution to world development," Xi said.
"We will continue to support existing multilateral banks, and by proposing the AIIB, we also hope to promote current institutions to better meet the requirement of their member countries and global economic system changes," he said.
The China-proposed AIIB and Belt and Road Initiative aim at solving practical issues of the region, Xi said, adding the AIIB will complement current global financial institutions.
"China will make joint efforts with various founding countries to build a professional, efficient and clean multilateral bank, and jointly contribute to Asia and world economic prosperity," Xi said.
The AIIB was proposed by Xi in October 2013.