The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a new international financial institution which became operational on 16th January 2016. The AIIB describes itself as “a multilateral development bank conceived for the 21st century”, and states that its core purpose is to fund infrastructure development projects in the Asia-Pacific region. The AIIB is seen by many as a Chinese-led initiative, partly aimed at challenging the disproportionate influence and control which Western countries have over the Bretton Woods institutions (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) which are the major international financial institutions at the global level. Thus it can be seen as a challenge to current global economic and political power dynamics and status quo and part of a global shift of power from the West to the East. However the AIIB is also seen as a means to pursue mercantile interest as well, enabling China to put some of its stockpile of foreign reserves into funding infrastructure development across Asia, to facilitate greater access to markets for its products, and to promote its ‘One Belt, One Road’ and New Silk Route initiative, linking Asia and Europe by sea, rail and road. How far the AIIB actually advances the implied challenge to existing financial institutions remains to be seen, however, as it begins operating and lending: in recent months the language coming from the bank has continually stressed partnership and cooperation, representing the AIIB as complementary to, rather than in competition with, Bretton Woods institutions.
The list of approved projects is listed here whereas the proposed projects can be found here.
Reports and articles can be accessed here.
Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing: A Peoples’ response to AIIB’s Third Annual Governors Meeting
The Third Annual Governors Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank [AIIB] will be held in Mumbai, India from 24-25 June 2018. This two-year-old multilateral bank is investing in all major sectors, including energy, without robust policies on environmental-social safeguards, transparent public disclosure and an accountability/complaint handling mechanism. Out of the total 24 projects, it has financed, USD 4.4 billion has already been approved. India is the biggest recipient from AIIB with more than 1.2 billion USD supporting about six projects including Transmission lines, Capital City Development at Amravati, rural roads etc with another 1 billion USD in proposed projects.
These data are but a few from among the many that come out periodically which, we are aware, will straightaway affect our democratic systems, land, water, forests, food, livelihoods, structures and the very air we breathe on a daily basis. All these raise our concerns to an alarming level that we are forced to reflect and act on the rapid ‘reforms’ which happen in the guise of development. Unlike World Bank and ADB who claim their development agenda in the name of reduction in poverty and inequality, AIIB never conceals their huge interests in infrastructure financing.
Resources on the Peoples’ Convention:
At the Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Finance: A Response to AIIB Annual Meeting, there will be multiple workshops organised by WGonIFIs in Mumbai during June 21-23, 2018. You can register for the workshops.