World / Europe

Switzerland to participate in foundation process of AIIB

By Zhang Yuchen ( Updated: 2015-03-22 21:31

Switzerland announced on March 20 that the Federal Council has decided that the country will participate in the foundation process of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to promote sustainable economic development in Asia.

Switzerland is one of the first countries in Western Europe to take this step. It can thus be involved in the preparation of this important new financial institution's articles of agreement. Moreover, it will enable Switzerland to be well positioned in the new institution from the outset. This will also helps to strengthen relations with China and the region in general.

The bank has the potential to become an important new part of the international financial architecture and play a major role in the financing of urgently needed infrastructure in Asia.

The bank's foundation was first proposed by China. Currently, a total of 27 signatory countries, particularly Asian countries, have declared their intention to establish the bank.

Moreover, several other Western European countries have announced that they will participate. In order to be able to participate in the preparatory process that is under way, Switzerland submitted the necessary letter of intent already last week, making it the third country in Western Europe to take this step.

Subject to approval by the existing signatories, Switzerland will become a prospective founding member of the AIIB. Participation in the foundation process will give it a unique opportunity to work on this new institution's articles of agreement and to position itself well.

Switzerland believes that it can play a significant role in ensuring that the new bank complies with the international standards in terms of its operating activities and development cooperation. The country's many years of experience and its credibility in multilateral development banks will benefit it in this regard.

The AIIB's articles of agreement should be adopted this year after Switzerland decides on definitive membership of the bank.

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