ADB sees AIIB com­pe­ti­tion as good thing

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By CHINA DAILY in Wash­ing­ton Yuan Yuan in Wash­ing­ton con­trib­uted to the story.

Se­nior of­fi­cials from the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) said they wel­come the com­pe­ti­tion from the new Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB).

The AIIB, with 57 found­ing mem­bers, was set up un­der an ini­tia­tive by the Chi­nese govern­ment to fi­nance in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. The Bei­jing -head­quar­tered bank started op­er­a­tions in De­cem­ber 2015.

Canada was the lat­est ma­jor econ­omy to ap­ply to join the AIIB dur­ing Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s re­cent visit to China, leav­ing the United States and Ja­pan as the only two G7 coun­tries that have not ap­plied.

“The com­pe­ti­tion is good for the re­gion be­cause it’s go­ing to give more op­tions and cre­ate more fi­nance to the re­gion. It also forces our in­sti­tu­tion to be bet­ter at what we do,” said ADB Vice-Pres­i­dent Stephen Groff at a talk in Wash­ing­ton on Sept 8 that marked the 50th an­niver­sary of ADB.

“We can learn from China by look­ing at what it did in terms of cre­at­ing ac­cess to so many dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties that were shut off from op­por­tu­ni­ties — ed­u­ca­tion, health or eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity,” Groff said at the talk themed The ADB at 50: Adapt­ing for a New Era in De­vel­op­ment Fi­nance.

The staff of the AIIB can come from any of the mem­ber gov­ern­ments, the World Bank or the ADB, which is good, said Cin­na­mon Dorn­sife, se­nior ad­viser with the School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity.

Groff said although AIIB may even­tu­ally build up re­la­tion­ships and trust among coun­tries as ADB did, at this mo­ment, ADB could still take ad­van­tage of its es­tab­lished re­la­tion­ships and long-stand­ing pro­ce­dures, ex­per­tise and in­flu­ence.

“With re­spect to the AIIB, the US is not at this point con­sid­er­ing join­ing the AIIB,” said Marisa Lago, as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and de­vel­op­ment of the US Trea­sury Depart­ment.

The US govern­ment drew sharp crit­i­cism at home for its ini­tial op­po­si­tion to AIIB but has since soft­ened its tone af­ter many key al­lies joined the mul­ti­lat­eral bank.

“Canada is al­ways look­ing for ways to cre­ate hope and op­por­tu­nity for our mid­dle class as well as for peo­ple around the world, and mem­ber­ship in the AIIB is an op­por­tu­nity to do just that,” Cana­dian Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau said in Bei­jing on Aug 31.

It (com­pe­ti­tion) also forces our in­sti­tu­tion to be bet­ter at what wwe do.” Stephen Groff , ADB vice-pres­i­dent

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