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AIIB wins achievements in short time despite challenges: S. Korean deputy minister

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-19 09:36

JEJU ISLAND - The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) won achievements in a short time of just one and a half years despite challenges facing the international development bank, South Korea's deputy finance minister said.

"AIIB already generated achievements in one and a half years of its establishment," Song In-chang, deputy minister for international affairs at South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance, told Xinhua Saturday on the sidelines of the AIIB's annual meeting.

The second annual meeting of the AIIB's board of governors lasted for two days through Saturday in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju.

The first meeting was held in Beijing last year. The third annual meeting was scheduled to be held in India in June 2018.

The AIIB, officially launched in January 2016, is a multilateral development bank initiated by China and supported by a wide range of countries and regions, which provides financing for infrastructure improvement in Asia.

The deputy minister said the 18-month-old AIIB achieved what other multilateral development banks (MDBs) took four to five years to achieve.

To date, the AIIB has approved $2.49 billion in financing for 16 infrastructure projects in nine countries. Twelve of the projects were co-financed, while four were standalone projects prepared by the bank.

"AIIB's progress is very fast. AIIB President Jin Liqun did well," said Song.

Despite the lack of experience of the newest international financial institution, Song said the AIIB has an advantage of making a fast decision by the decision-making body.

He said the South Korean government will actively support corporate infrastructure projects linked to the AIIB by creating a firm networking with AIIB officials.

Meanwhile, Song held a separate press conference with local reporters on Saturday, saying South Korea's hosting of the AIIB's first annual meeting outside the Beijing headquarters had a great meaning to the country.

President Moon Jae-in, who took office on May 10, made a congratulatory address at the opening ceremony of the AIIB annual meeting on Friday, making a debut into the international event.

South Korea is the fifth-biggest shareholder of the AIIB which owns about $100 billion of subscribed capital, including some $20 billion in paid-in capital.

The deputy minister said South Korea planned to share its technology, experience and finance of infrastructure with other AIIB members to contribute to the environmentally-friendly economic development in Asia.

Among the 80 approved members, 75 delegations attended the AIIB's second annual meeting along with 46 officials from multilateral development banks such as the Asian Development Bank.

"It was a very high participation rate," said Song. In addition to the delegations and MDB officials, central bankers and over 20 finance ministers attended the second annual meeting.

The number of AIIB members was raised to 80, including 57 founding members, as the board of governors approved Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga as new members during the business session on Friday.

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