China ratifies Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank deal
China's top legislature on Wednesday ratified the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agreement, that will set out legal framework for the $100 billion-bank in which India and 56 other countries are founder members. Lawmakers voted on the agreement at the closing meeting of the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The ratification is a significant step closer to the AIIB's formal establishment slated for the end of this year, as China is the bank's largest shareholder. The China-backed multilateral development institution is tasked with financing infrastructure construction across Asia. The Beijing-based bank could rival World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank in scaling up funding for the infrastructure projects in Asia. With authorised capital of $100 billion and subscribed capital of $50 billion, AIIB will invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare. China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking a 30.34%, 8.52%, 6.66% stake respectively in the newly-formed bank. Their voting shares are calculated at 26.06 %, 7.5% and 5.92%. Based on the share holding, India is expected to get the post of the Vice President. China has already nominated its former finance minister Jin Liqun as the first President of AIIB which is addition to the BRICS Development Bank, headed by eminent Indian banker K V Kamath. Among AIIB's 57 prospective founding members, 54 had signed the agreement as of last month and the other three are expected to sign before the end of this year. All prospective members should have their legislatures ratify the agreement before the end of 2016 to formally become founding members. As long as at least 10 signatories, with capital contribution not less than 50%, obtain legislative approvals, the agreement will become effective, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei told lawmakers. Lou said Myanmar, Singapore and Brunei have received legislative approval, adding China's ratification, with more than 30% in capital contribution, is crucial to the bank's timely operations. The 60-article agreement outlines the financial shares of each founding member as well as rules for policymaking, governance structure and business and operational systems. The AIIB will promote sustainable development of the Asian economy, create wealth and improve infrastructure connections. The bank will cooperate with other multilateral and bilateral development organisations to promote regional cooperation and deal with challenges, Lou said. 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 added.
November 04, 2015 | 5:48pm IST.