What is the Global Role of the AIIB amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will hold its fifth annual meeting later today, via video link. Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver his speech at the opening ceremony. For more on the event, Su Yi invited Adjunct Professor Ivo Ganchev (Beijing Union University) to join him on The Beijing Hour. You can listen to the full episode of the show from Sep 14, 2020 on the China Plus website and to the interview excerpt from the Listen section of this website. A full transcript of the excerpt is also available below.
Su Yi: So first of all, what major issues do you think will be addressed at the 2020 Asian Infrastructure Investment bank’s annual meeting,
Ivo Ganchev: Let me start with the theme of the meeting which this year is connected for tomorrow. Now, when he talks about the AWB This is not just a slogan, and what I mean here is that this entire institution has been working with the vision for the future since day one, so that drives this direction, including the long term 2030 agenda. Now, keeping this in mind at this year’s meeting specifically, I’d expect first and foremost the post pandemic recovery to be on top of the agenda. Another issue would be connecting markets internationally in terms of both physical and digital infrastructure, and now with the pandemic perhaps even terms of health infrastructure as well. We’ve established very clearly that market conductivity is a crucial growth driver, and there are still great discrepancies between countries and even within countries and this is something the AIB could alleviate, and finally we have green growth as well, another sector that is only starting to really emerge and it brings together countries that might otherwise just break, and it helps them to rally together around a common cause. So, in essence, I expect all these issues on the AIB agenda this year to be very productive forces very positive forces and to help bring together the international community and to serve as an example of how multilateralism can function efficiently, even in the middle of a pandemic.
Su Yi: So apart from promoting the Belton road cooperation How can the AIB better support other development related projects across Asia and also beyond?
Ivo Ganchev: First of all, it’s important to mention here that the AIB doesn’t just work on itself, it has partnerships with a lot of other major international banks, and that includes the World Bank, the ADB and a whole lot of other regional and other banks with the World Bank, for example, they’ve jointly financed a number of projects like places like Manila, for example, when there was a heavy of flooding the Philippines a couple of years ago. Another point here is that the AIB can attract perhaps even more countries to the Belton road is very important that even though it operates in Asia. It’s an institution oriented towards development and largely achieved this through infrastructure project but these projects don’t have to be limited to Asia. There’s a tremendous demand for infrastructure projects, bang across the global south in the inner parts of various countries in Africa and Latin America, and new infrastructure, they are in facilitate logistics and that’s also where a lot of emerging markets are located as well so this falls in line with the AIB its fundamental commitment to improving things like market activity so expect I expect that, although it will inevitably focused on Asia, it can also be a great help to countries in the global south,
Shane Bigham: That was Adjunct Professor Ivo Ganchev at Beijing Union University, talking about the annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.