• Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) formally established in Beijing

    Ramesh Tiwari
    December 26, 2015
    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) formally established in Beijing

    BEIJING (Xinhua) — The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a complement to existing international financial system, was formally established  in Beijing and expected to start operation early next year.

    “The AIIB is legally established as the Articles of Agreement take effect today,” said China’s Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei.

    The Articles of Agreement outlines the financial share of each founding member as well as rules for policymaking, governance structure, and business and operational systems for the bank. It became effective once the legislatures of 17 members, who hold a combined 50.1 percent stake in the bank, ratified the agreement.

    As long as at least 10 signatories, and no less than 50 percent of the capital contribution, obtain legislative approval, the agreement will become effective.

    The establishment of the AIIB marks a milestone in the reform of global economic governance system, Lou said.

    The AIIB will be operational after board of directors and executive council meet for the first time. The meetings are slated to run from Jan. 16 to 18 in Beijing, according to Lou. The bank’s president will be officially appointed and the management team will be in place at the meetings.

    The bank will start recruiting new members, Jin Liqun, the bank’s president-designate, said in an interview with Xinhua, adding that members of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) could apply to join the AIIB.The bank will always be open to new membership, Jin said.

    “We aspire to excellence and will adhere to the highest standards in governance,” he said, promising that he will be firmly committed to fostering a principles-based corporate culture.

    “Our Management will be fully accountable for rigorous implementation of policies and standards. We are ready to make a positive difference,” said Jin.The bank, headquartered in Beijing, now has 57 members.

    China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking a 30.34 percent, 8.52 percent, 6.66 percent stake, respectively. Their voting shares are calculated at 26.06 percent, 7.5 percent and 5.92 percent.

    As its name suggests, the AIIB will finance infrastructure — airports, mobile phone towers, railways and roads — in Asia.There is a yawning infrastructure funding gap in Asia. The ADB pegged the hole with about 8 trillion U.S. dollars between 2010 and 2020.

    While both the ADB and World Bank focus on a broad range of development programs including agriculture, education and gender equality, the AIIB will concentrate on infrastructure.

    The International Monetary Fund, World Bank and ADB have all welcomed the AIIB initiative and see room for collaboration.

    With authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, the AIIB will initially prioritize investment in energy, power generation, transportation, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics. It is expected to offer loans to the first batch of projects in mid-2016.

    Dec. 25, 2015

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
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      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
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      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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