Moon, Kim play hosts to 2nd annual AIIB meeting in Jeju

Regional initiative An attendee walks past the entrance to the venue of the AIIB annual meeting in Jeju South Korea in June. The China-led AIIB can now boast a loan book of US2.5bil capped by new projects in India Georgia and Tajikistan. — Bloomberg

The fledgling development bank, now in its second year, has already taken on projects by itself and it will do more going forward, AIIB President Jin Liqun said on Saturday in Jeju, South Korea, following the institution's second annual conference.

Mr Jin said that, after many rounds of discussion on the bank's energy policy, "this is the best we can achieve", adding that there are no new coal projects in its pipeline of investments.

The AIIB is a multilateral development bank that focuses on the development of infrastructure and interconnectivity in Asia.

For Seoul, the worldwide meeting also came as Beijing is flexing its economic muscle against Seoul in protest of the deployment of an advanced USA missile defense system in South Korea.

"We thought this was a really interesting opportunity to see if this new institution can foster a race to the top in terms of creating strong sustainable credit practices, or foster a race to the bottom", said Katherine Lu of Friends of the Earth.

"I really hope the AIIB will become an absolute, influential and important bank", Kim said at the dinner.

Latin American countries are showing growing interest in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative that seeks common development and prosperity by building infrastructure and trade networks, Yang said.

"We operate by our standards, by our governance".

The AIIB meeting here also marked the first global meeting attended by new South Korean President Moon Jae-in since his inauguration May 10.

Finance Minister attends annual meeting of AIIB in S. Korea Sat, Jun 17, 2017, 12:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

On Thursday the bank approved US$324 million in loans and investment in projects in India, Georgia and Tajikistan.

South Korea was picked to host the gathering before Beijing began protesting Seoul's agreement to let its ally the United States deploy on its territory key components of the so-called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system. It expects that to reach about $4 billion by the end of this year.

By comparison, the ADB made US$17.74 billion in commitments past year. The Asian Development Bank and other experts say coal is likely to be the cheapest option for economies such as Bangladesh.

While the Asian lending bank pledged to support "low-carbon energy", in a report earlier this year, it said the bank also might support oil- or coal-fired power plants if they replace less-efficient facilities or no other options are available.

"As a nonmember state, we have no reason to attend the meeting", a Japanese government source said.

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