Business / Economy

World Bank chief eyes cooperation with AIIB

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-28 14:48

WASHINGTON - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Friday that the bank welcomes China's proposal of setting up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), underscoring that the two agencies should be complimentary partners other than competitors.

The Chinese leaders put forward the idea to build the AIIB last October, which aims to boost limited funding for Asian countries to improve their backward infrastructure facilities.

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The initiative has been applauded by many countries, but is also surmised as a rival project with other lenders such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said that the proposed new bank and the existing multilateral development banks will be complimentary and cooperative, and the World Bank agree completely, Kim said at a media roundtable ahead of his visit to five Asian countries in early July.

"It would be foolish, in my mind, for us to think of the AIIB as a competitor, because there's no way that the money we provide for infrastructure is going to be enough for us to reach the goal of ending extreme poverty. So, we very strongly welcome all the other participants," he said.

The needs for infrastructure are enormous, as the World Bank estimated that South Asia needs to invest about $250 billion a year to bridge the infrastructure gap over the next ten years, while East Asia needs about $600 billion a year.

Developing and emerging countries invest about $1 trillion a year now. In order to meet the demands, Kim said the World Bank is going to double that spending.

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