China / Government

Top legislature starts ratifying AIIB agreement

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-30 19:43

BEIJING - China's top legislature on Friday began deliberating the ratification of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agreement, which will lay the legal framework for the bank.

The China-advocated multilateral development institution is tasked with financing infrastructure construction across Asia. The 60-article agreement discussed by the legislature outlines the financial share of each founding member as well as rules on policymaking, governance structure, and business and operational systems.

The AIIB will promote sustainable development of the Asian economy, create wealth and improve infrastructure connections, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said while briefing lawmakers at the opening of the five-day bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

The bank will cooperate with other multilateral and bilateral development organizations to promote regional cooperation and deal with challenges, according to Lou.

The AIIB shows that China is committed to establishing an open, just and transparent international economic governance system, and it will provide a new platform for cooperation among member states, he said.

All 57 members of the bank must ratify the agreement by Dec. 31, 2016, to become founding members.

With authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, the AIIB will invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.

Asian members' contribution of capital is three times that of non-Asian members.

Based on the capital contribution, China holds a voting stake of around 26 percent, the highest among all members. As new members join, all founding members' shares and voting stakes will be "gradually diluted," Lou explained.

He said that Jin Liqun, president-designate of the institution and head of the working group to establish the AIIB, will be formally elected AIIB president at the first board of directors' meeting, scheduled after the formal establishment of the bank.

Jin has held positions with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The AIIB has, with reference to the common practice of multilateral development banks, set up a three-tiered structure, consisting of a board of governors, a board of directors and a management team.

Jin earlier said the AIIB will be "lean, clean and green," which means there should be no redundant positions.

Lou said the AIIB should be exempted from all taxes and tariffs and its staff salaries should also be exempted from taxation.

Though all state-backed initiatives, the AIIB, the New Development Bank for BRICS countries and the Silk Road Fund will work independently.

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