Discours

22-01-2018

Introduction Meeting with Jin Liqun, President and Chairman AIIB

January 22nd, 2018


- - - the spoken word alone prevails - - -

 


Introduction

 

Excellences,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished guests,

 

On the occasion of Belgium’s forthcoming membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, we are honored to welcome Mr. Jin Liqun in our midst.

 

Mr. Jin is the inaugural President and Chairman of the AIIB’s Board of Directors. Before being elected as the Bank’s first President, he served as Secretary-General of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat tasked with establishing the Bank. Mr. Jin has rich experience across both the private and public sectors, including previously serving as Vice President of the Asian Development Bank and as Alternate Executive Director for China at the World Bank and at the Global Environment Facility. He also spent nearly two decades at the Chinese Ministry of Finance, reaching the rank of Vice Minister.

 

Mr. Jin, we warmly welcome you at this event, organized by the Federation of Enterprises of Belgium, which is of course looking forward to closely cooperate with the AIIB.

 

Belgium and the AIIB


Excellences,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The need for infrastructure investments in the economically fast-growing Asian region is enormous. China clearly wants to use its large foreign reserves in favor of infrastructure development in Asia. Belgium therefore supports China’s efforts to use these resources with the help of foreign partners, and with a focus on transparency and sustainable development. In 2016, we expressed our wish to join the 57 founding AIIB-members. The Belgian candidacy was accepted by the Board of Governors in March 2017 and we immediately started our own preparations in order to become an effective member within the shortest term.   

 

The draft law approving the AIIB-statute is currently being discussed in Parliament. Once the law has been ratified and published, which will happen in the coming months, Belgium will deposit a first capital tranche and subsequently become an effective member. We plan to participate as effective member in the Board of Governors of next April in Beijing.

 

Being one of the European members of the AIIB, Belgium will support the European agenda for an open and inclusive approach to infrastructure investment, ensuring that national budgets are not put under pressure by expensive loans for projects that are only profitable in the long term and to evaluate proposed projects for their economic, budgetary, ecological and social sustainability.

 

The Belgian membership of the AIIB will also give Belgian companies wishing to invest in Asia additional opportunities. A quick look at the projects that are already being financed by the AIIB tells us that many different sectors are covered, including underground works, the building of power plants, port development, and so on, in which Belgian companies have built up a strong international reputation. Our membership of the AIIB will enable our companies to detect opportunities that interest them at a very early stage.

 

Mr. Jin Liqun,

The AIIB is still a young institution, yet, its number of members is steadily growing. If all prospective members become effective ones, the AIIB will count 80 members. In the meantime, operations have exceeded the threshold of 4.2 billion dollars, the majority of them co-financed with other international development banks. Belgium is proud to be able to join the AIIB at a time when the bank is still in a start-up mode. We will cooperate with the other members to give the bank its own identity and to make an example of it for other national and international development banks in the region. 

 

Conclusion

 

I thank the Federation of Enterprises of Belgium for organizing this event and now pass the floor to Mr. Jin Liqun, who will speak about AIIB’s policies and strategies and explain how Belgian companies can take part in the procurements. Mr. Jin, the floor is yours.

 

- - - the spoken word alone prevails - - -

 

 

 

 


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