Business / Economy

EU members' AIIB enthusiasm welcomed in Brussels

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-20 16:24

BRUSSELS -- The decision of some European Union (EU) member states to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has gained increasing applause in the center of the continent.

At a meeting held by Press Club Brussels Europe, Ellis Mathews, head of Division for China at the European External Action Service (EEAS), a EU department, expressed his support for the recent decisions of France, Germany, Italy and Britain to partake in the China-proposed initiative.

Echoing the European Commission, he said that there are extensive needs for investment in Asia and that from the EU's perspective increased investment in Asia's infrastructure is highly welcome and is also a business opportunity for EU companies.

Talking about the outlook of the AIIB, Mathews said this bank should apply international rules and standards.

Responding to Mathews' concern, Qian Bo, minister-counsellor at the Chinese Mission to the EU, said that the AIIB is an international financial institution which follows all international standards, including openness, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability.

"We are happy to see that dozens of countries have volunteered to become founding members of the AIIB," Qian said.

Daniel Gros, director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies, told Xinhua that European countries joining the AIIB showed their intention to seek more cover and protection from China for their investment in Asia.

Mathews emphasized that "additional push" is needed this year for China and the EU to cooperate in China-proposed grand initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Qian said such initiatives will provide a platform for cooperation between China and the EU.

Gros said the EU could increase its exports to China through the engagement in such initiatives, which will make transportation easier and faster.

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