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25 Sep 2018

Belarus gearing up to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Belarus gearing up to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

MINSK, 25 September (BelTA) – The House of Representatives, Belarus lower house of parliament, is planning to review the bill to ratify the articles of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) agreement during the autumn session, BelTA learned from Piotr Vabishchevich, member of the Standing Commission on Budget and Finance of the House of Representatives.

Passing the bill will complete the domestic procedures for Belarus’ accession to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and becoming its full-fledged member. In the future Belarus will be able to use new financial instruments to implement projects in energy, transportation and telecommunications, rural infrastructure and agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection and urban development and logistics. These are the focus areas of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Piotr Vabishchevich noted that China is among major investors of the bank and Belarus intends to use its financial incentives to coordinate the Belt and Road initiatives. “We will be able to modernize existing manufacturing facilities or set up new ones, develop transport corridors, logistics and energy infrastructure, including at the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Great Stone,” the MP noted. “Once a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Belarus will be able to strengthen cooperation with China even more,” he added.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established in 2015 at China's initiative. The AIIB authorized capital is $100 billion. Over the years the AIIB has invested $4.5 billion in 24 projects. The bank is planning to increase its annual loan portfolio up to $4-6 billion in the next few yeas and to $10-15 billion in the future. The mission of the AIIB is to unite countries to address the infrastructure challenges in and outside Asia. The bank is headquartered in Beijing. China, India and Russia are major shareholders of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The bank has 84 members.

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