Governments inside and outside Asia invited to consult with Beijing on establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, says Beijing

Out-Law News | 15 Apr 2014 | 10:21 am | 1 min. read

China wants to establish an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in conjunction with other governments in and outside Asia, Chinese premier Li Keqiang has said, according to Xinhua, China's state press agency.

Following discussions with a number of countries, China says it wants to create an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on the development of the bank, which would focus on helping to fund infrastructure projects in Asia, Xinhua reported.

"China is ready to intensify consultations with relevant parties in and outside Asia on the                preparations for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and hopes that the bank can be officially launched at an early date," Li said in a speech at the 2014 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia.

Li and Chinese president Xi Jinping discussed the development of the bank with other governments in visits to south east Asia last year. China hopes to launch the bank with preliminary capital of $50 billion.

Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei told the Boao event that a number of countries China has discussed plans for the bank with have expressed an interest in becoming founding members of the bank.  Lou added that investment in infrastructure has special significance particularly at a time when the global economic recovery is still weak, reports Xinhua.

Plans for the bank come alongside pledges by China's government to offer private investors, including foreign investors, opportunities to buy a stake in some of its state-owned enterprises, including the rail, oil and telecoms sectors.  Beijing also recently announced that it is to spend $117 billion on rail infrastructure across China in the coming year.