Finance Minister Edward Scicluna is in Beijing for the inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors of the newly-formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a China-led multilateral development bank in which Malta is a founder member along with 56 other countries. These include a number of other EU member states including the UK, France, Germany and Italy.
During the meeting, being held between yesterday and today, the governors elected Jin Liqun as the Bank’s President.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang addressed the meeting and were introduced to each head of delegation including the Maltese Finance Minister Prof. Scicluna.
The Maltese Parliament approved the ratification of the articles of agreement that establish the AIIB as an international organisation in its last sitting before rising for the holiday recess on 16th December 2015.
Prof. Scicluna, commented: “Malta is proud to be amongst the founding members of the AIIB. Although the Bank is based in Asia, we too are benefiting and can continue to attract Asian investment, especially from China. Asia is a region with enormous economic potential, and this is a golden opportunity for us to have an active, although modest, presence where things are really happening.”
The Bank, which is being hosted by the Chinese Government in Beijing, will provide financial support for infrastructure development and regional connectivity in Asia. It will have an authorised capital of 100 billion US dollars and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around 50 billion dollars.
It will also be promoting regional cooperation and partnership in addressing development challenges by working in close collaboration with other multilateral and bilateral development institutions, including the EIB and the EBRD.
The Finance Minister was accompanied by the Maltese Ambassador to China Mr John Aquilina, First Secretary Mr Bernard Hamilton, and the Minister’s Chief of Staff Ms Tania Brown.