The Jakarta Post
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has suggested that all developing countries in the region allocate around 8 percent of their gross domestic products (GDP) for infrastructure projects in order to enable them to provide basic needs for their people.
AIIB president Jin Liqun said greater investment in infrastructure would also help developing countries to catch up with other more developed economies and eventually boost growth in Asia.
“Our best analysis suggests many lower and lower-middle income members need to boost infrastructure investment by a third,” Jin said at the opening of the AIIB Annual Meeting in Luxembourg on Friday.
If those countries are unable to mobilize private capital for infrastructure investment, he added, they must consider allocating public resources for that purpose without putting pressure on their public balance sheets.
Jin, the former vice president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said some Asian economies had increased their investments to 6 to 7 percent of GDP, but other economies, particularly low-income countries, were still struggling.
While it was important for developing economies to raise their infrastructure investment, Jin said, it must be done sustainably.
Jin also emphasized the importance for countries to select projects that have high economic returns and design them and finance them sustainably.
“[That] means the projects must benefit the local people. [Those projects] must not harm the people and the environment. This is what it means to be lean, clean and green,” he said, referring to the AIIB slogan.
During his speech, Jin thanked Luxembourg for hosting the fourth AIIB Annual Meeting, the first of its kind held outside Asia.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna and several government representatives and investors.
In his remarks, Gramegna said the willingness of Luxembourg to host the AIIB Annual Meeting had shown its commitment to supporting multilateral organization.
“Multilateralism is in our DNA. Multilateral cooperation has proven to lift people in many countries out of property,” he said.
He added that only multilateralism and international cooperation could ensure that the global community takes on the challenge of climate change while reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.