Opening the 2019 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Annual Meeting in Luxembourg in the presence of HRH Grand Duke of Luxembourg, President of the Luxembourg Parliament, Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Luxembourg Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Board of Governors for the 2019 Annual Meeting, Pierre Gramegna, AIIB President Jin Liqun set out the Bank's commitment to drive the green economy through sustainable, adaptable and innovative infrastructure investment.
President Jin pledged for AIIB, with the cooperation of its members, to become, "the Bank that connects Asia to the World," highlighting the need for around eight per cent GDP infrastructure investment by its lower and lower-middle income members to drive sustainable growth.
President Jin's comments follow AIIB analysis pointing to a consolidated economic view that this level of investment not only meets basic needs, but also helps countries catch up economically. While estimates can vary, AIIB's analysis points to many lower and lower-middle income members needing to boost infrastructure investment by a third.
Jin continued: "A well-coordinated investment program in infrastructure and other productive sectors in low-income countries will boost growth…will create jobs and reduce poverty… will empower women. This will then drive a higher level of development where governments can afford more investment in education and health, ultimately realizing long-term economic and social achievement."
Underscoring the importance of a 'greener' approach to building infrastructure to accelerate Asia's socio-economic development, President Jin said, "Project implementation should be green. Operation and maintenance of facilities should be green. Overall growth and development stemming from infrastructure should be even greener."
President Jin highlighted the importance of partnership and collaboration with European countries, including Luxembourg, who can play a pivotal role in raising private capital to invest in green, transformative infrastructure. Using the occasion of the Annual Meeting, he announced AIIB's intention to list part of its future issues launched from its Euro Medium-Term Note program on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
In his keynote speech, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna underlined that the country's membership in the AIIB "is a testament to Luxembourg's long lasting commitment to multilateralism", stressing that “only multilateralism and international cooperation can insure reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and tackle the challenge of climate change."
In this context, Pierre Gramegna highlighted the fact during the 2019 Annual Meeting in Luxembourg a focus has been placed on green and sustainable finance: "I am pleased that several seminars held during this year's annual meeting will focus on the commitments of the Paris agreement and the future of sustainable finance." Holding the meeting in Luxembourg, a leading financial center with the second largest investment fund center worldwide, "will help creating synergies in mobilizingfinancial resources of governments, international institutions and the private sector to achieve a better connectivity between Europe and Asia", said Minister Gramegna.
"The fact that you have come to hold your first meeting outside of Asia here in Luxembourg testifies that our relations are excellent. Luxembourg has built its prosperity on an open economy, strong cooperation with its European and global partners and a deep conviction that international cooperation is not only the basis for economic development, but also a guarantor of stability and peace", noted Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in his keynote intervention.
For the Prime Minister, the objective behind joining the AIIB was very clear: "we strongly believe in multilateralism, and that is why my government wanted Luxembourg to join the AIIB as the first non-regional member. We consider that the establishment of this new Multilateral Development Bank will act as a strong instrument in our joint efforts to address the challenges of sustainable development and to build our future: together and by concerted action".
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, we began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 97 approved members worldwide. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond, we will better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.
Press release by the Ministry of Finance / Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)