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Hong Kong pushing for regional AIIB office, says finance chief

21 June 2017

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Georgia have signed a $114 million worth loan agreement for Batumi Bypass Road Project.

It was unclear if the meeting will pave the way for a broader thaw in chilled relations.

The AIIB, China's first effort to launch a multilateral development organization, has been careful publicly to put distance between itself and Chinese government policy as it looks to placate concerns it will be a tool of Beijing's foreign policy.

One of the most significant events at the three-day meeting was Kim's Friday meeting with Chinese Minister of Finance Xiao Jie.

This is the Bank's Second Annual Meeting, and is being jointly hosted by the Bank and the Republic of Korea.

China, South Korea's largest trading partner, has imposed restrictions on South Korean imports and banned the sale of group tour packages to South Korea. Moon suspended the deployment of the American missile shield this month. It was the first time since July 2016 that the two countries' economic heads have met since diplomatic and economic relations froze over as a result of the deployment of a US missile defense system. When reporters asked Jin for his position on NGOs' view that the AIIB should not invest in coal projects, Jin said, "The AIIB is planning to actively implement member states' Paris climate change agreement".

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For Argentina, the AIIB serves as a good bond with China in pushing common development, enabling promotion of its infrastructure construction and exchanges with China, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said during attendance of the high-level Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May ahead of his state visit to China.

The meeting is being held under the theme of "Sustainable Infrastructure", seeking strategic directions of the global infrastructure bank and making major decisions on the bank's management.

SOUTH Korea's new finance chief said he hopes China and his country can put aside their political rift to forge closer economic ties, and bring about an early end to China's action against Korean companies as part of retaliation for Seoul's deployment of a U.S. missile-defense system.

While the Asian lending bank pledged to support "low-carbon energy", in a report earlier this year, it said the bank also might support oil- or coal-fired power plants if they replace less-efficient facilities or no other options are available.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in used the meeting's opening ceremony to promote his new administration's clean energy initiatives.

"We appreciate the strong support provided by the Indian government" said Alexander.

Hong Kong pushing for regional AIIB office, says finance chief