(WAM) — The meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, has approved the decision to host the Bank’s 2021 annual meeting in the UAE, during EXPO Dubai.
The event is set to draw the participation of delegates from over 100 countries worldwide. The UAE will chair the Bank’s Board of Governors from now until the 6th annual meeting, which will take place in 2021.
The announcement was made during the UAE’s participation in the virtual annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which convened on 28th July, under the theme ‘Connecting for Tomorrow’, where President Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, delivered the opening remarks of this edition.
The virtual event brought together AIIB’s Governors, Directors and the delegates from AIIB members and partner institutions, business leaders, civil society representatives and experts from a wide range of fields.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and the UAE’s Governor on the AIIB Board of Governors; and Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and the UAE’s Alternate Governor on the AIIB Board of Governors, represented the UAE in the meeting.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, the leading national entity for international development aid, is mandated to represent the country at AIIB and follow up on various projects implemented through this partnership.
Welcoming AIIB’s decision to host its upcoming annual meeting in the UAE, marking its debut gathering in the Middle East region, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber noted that the event would be an important step towards enhancing development cooperation and uniting efforts to provide improved livelihood for people of various developing countries through increasing economic and investment opportunities for all AIIB members.
“Under the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE, one of AIIB’s founding members, has played an integral part in enabling the Bank to achieve its objectives of financing infrastructure projects in developing countries and promoting investment in sectors that translate into a long-term economic impact,” he said.
“The UAE has a strong track record that spans five decades in funding development projects that deliver a profound social and economic impact for numerous communities worldwide. We look forward to welcoming AIIB members, development partners and key stakeholders to share their ideas and best practises in accelerating the development process in Asia. Such efforts will enable the beneficiary countries to maintain a balanced level of economic growth and meet the funding challenges facing development projects in these challenging times,” Al Jaber noted.
“The development agenda pursued by the UAE is aligned with AIIB’s objectives of promoting sustainable economic development across the globe. The UAE has been ranked as the largest donor of official development aid for five consecutive years, validating the country’s status as a leading partner in development aid,” Al Jaber added.
The decision to hold a virtual annual meeting was taken in view of the unexpected new coronavirus, COVID-19, crisis and the lockdown measures currently in force in different countries of the world.
The interactive session discussed the status of infrastructure development in 2020, the impact of COVID-19 outbreak, conditions to catalyse more public and private infrastructure investment, importance of infrastructure investments in raising economic growth and productivity for developing economies, and the economic and social benefits of the completed projects, among others.
The meeting also presented an opportunity for the participants to take stock of the past successes made by the Bank in meeting the funding challenges facing development projects across Asia.
Headquartered in Beijing, AIIB began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 103 approved members worldwide. AIIB aims to contribute new financial resources to accelerate the development process in Asia and enable the beneficiary members to maintain a balanced level of economic growth.
The UAE joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as one of its founding members in April 2015. The country’s contribution to the Bank’s paid-in capital is US$1.185 billion. As of 16th July, 2020, AIIB’s President and Board of Directors have approved up to US$19.6 billion for 87 projects in 24 economies.
In line with its mandate to represent the UAE at AIIB, ADFD coordinates with the Bank’s management in following up on the status of the funded operations and projects. Aligned with ADFD’s wider objectives, AIIB represents a model institution in the provision of development assistance that alleviates global poverty.
The AIIB is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. The Bank’s launch, as one of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s initiatives, was first proposed in 2013. Headquartered in Beijing, AIIB began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 103 approved members worldwide.
By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond aiming better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.