China‘s rapid economic rise and its mega projects may spur conspiracy theories about the country’s intentions, but the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said it does not just serve Chinese interests.
“There’s no conspiracy here. The One Belt, One Road initiative is an initiative by China; it’s a national initiative while we are a global initiative,” said AIIB’s chief financial officer, Thierry de Longuemar.
Launched in January 2016 with $100 billion in authorized capital, the AIIB aims to provide infrastructural financing in the Asia-Pacific and is seen as a rival to Western-led institutions like the World Bank and the Japan-dominated Asian Development Bank.
Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the second AIIB Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in Jeju, South Korea, de Longuemar added that the institution is “not an instrument of One Belt, One Road”, which covers Asia, Europe and Africa. AIIB’s scope spans beyond these regions.
While the Chinese yuan is one of the major currencies of the AIIB, the institution’s dominant currency is still the dollar, he said.
China is the AIIB’s first shareholder. Today, the AIIB has close to 80 members and expects to add another 10 by the end of the year, when membership will just trail the World Bank, said de Longuemar.