What is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or AIIB?

World Today

What is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or AIIB?

You may have heard about a new international initiative called AIIB. What is it all about? We explain. 

What is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank or AIIB?

You may have heard about a new international initiative called AIIB. What is it all about? We explain.

China President Xi Jinping first raised the idea of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, about three years ago.

He saw the international development bank as a way to boost cooperation within Asia. Xi also wanted to address the region’s massive infrastructure spending gap, which according to a study from 2010 was eight trillion dollars deep.

It was his hope the bank, would fund much-needed projects including energy, transportation, water, telecommunications, rural infrastructure and the environment. Back in 2013, Xi’s brainchild had few takers.

But by October 2014 Beijing had enough members to officially launch the AIIB. Beijing scored a coup in 2015 when the U.K. said it would also join. Now it has 57 member nations.

But the AIIB has its critics. Some allege it’s a way for China to expand its global influence and rival groups like the World Bank.

Beijing has denied those claims, and said the bank is willing to work with other development lenders.