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AIIB a test for China's international role

By Kavi Chongkittavorn | China Daily | Updated: 2016-01-18 07:58

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is operational now, will open up new opportunities for vast infrastructure projects in Asia. The 57-member infrastructure financial institution of the new bank is the brainchild of China, and with an initial capital of $100 billion it is expected to play a major role in promoting connectivity leading to regional integration. In the long term, it will raise China's profile on the global stage.

Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which are all founding members of the AIIB, would be the main beneficiaries because they have numerous projects waiting for funding, especially those that have been identified under the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity. According to the Asian Development Bank, ASEAN will need $60 billion a year to finance the required infrastructure projects.

At their recent summit in Kuala Lumpur, ASEAN leaders discussed how to find alternative ways for funding their infrastructure projects. So far, all the support has come from government sources, but at the moment it is hard to come by. The ASEAN leaders agreed that financial institutions and the private sector should be further explored to get the required funds.

AIIB a test for China's international role

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