US welcomes China's initiatives to complement intl financial architecture
The United States welcomes China's initiatives to increase world infrastructure investment, which can benefit current global financial architecture, US officials said Monday. "We welcome the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Belt and Road Initiative," said Ziad Haider, a State Department official.
The United States also recognizes China's effort to narrow the massive gap in infrastructure around the world, Haider told an event held by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), a think-tank based in Washington DC.
The CSIS held the event to discuss the implications of China's Belt and Road Initiative and the AIIB toward the global infrastructure development.
Statistics released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce showed Chinese enterprises directly invested $14.82 billion into 49 countries within the cooperation framework of the Belt and Road Initiative last year, up 18.2 percent compared with the previous year.
The AIIB was officially established late last year, with an authorized capital of $100 billion. The bank was formed by 57 members from developed countries like Britain, France and Germany and emerging and developing countries like Brazil, South Africa and Pakistan.
"The AIIB represents a response to a genuine need for greater investment to address a global infrastructure deficit," said a report issued by the CSIS at the event.
The US Treasury Department strongly supports domestic, bilateral and multilateral efforts to increase global infrastructure investment, as quality infrastructure invest- ment will boost a country's economy significantly, said John Hurley, director of International Debt and Development Policy of the US Treasury Department.
Hurley said that finding ways to finance necessary investment in infrastructure in developing countries is one of the big challenges today.
"Emerging and developing countries will need an estimated 1 trillion (dollars) in infrastructure investment by the year 2020 just to sustain current economic growth," Hurley said "We continue to have conversations with China and other AIIB members," said Hurley, adding that the AIIB is complementing the current international financial architecture. "We've seen recent reports of the AIIB co-financing projects with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank and this is something that we strongly welcome," Hurley said.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt that links China with Europe through central and western Asia by inland routes and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road that connects China with Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe by sea routes. Meanwhile, Kenya and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has signed an agreement for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line from Naivasha in northwest Kenya to Malaba in western Kenya. A statement from the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) received on Tuesday said the Chinese firm will develop Naivasha-Kisumu/Malaba SGR project, Kisumu Port and the Inland Container Depot at a total cost of $5.3 billion.