Expansion of Ties
Abbas Akhoundi, Iran's Minister of Road and Urban Development is currently on a four-day visit to China. In this time, he will meet with senior officials of the AIIB along with the Chinese deputy prime minister, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and senior official officials of the China Exim bank.
US May Join the AIIB
AIIB president Jin Liqun said Monday that the US is likely to join the AIIB under the Trump presidency. During the formation of the AIIB, the United States saw it as a threat. Jin believes that there is enough space for several financial bodies to operate simultaneously.
Jin Liqun said to the People Daily newspaper, “I have heard that a certain senior official of the President Barack Obama speak good of the AIIB and after Donald Trump won, I was told that many in his team have an opinion that Obama was not right not to join the AIIB … So we can’t rule out that the new government in US endorsing the AIIB or indicating interest to join as member.”
New Approach to China
James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Clinton administration, is now a senior adviser to President-elect Trump. Mr Woolsey foreshadowed a major shift in America's position on China's economic strategy. He was quoted in a letter saying "It is accepted in Washington today that the Obama administration’s opposition to the formation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was a strategic mistake and I hope that the next administration’s response to the Belt and Road initiative will be much warmer.”"
Membership in AIIB will Benefit the US
With Trump moving into the White House, the US may seek to join the AIIB. US membership in the AIIB would give Americans the chance to ensure a high level of transparency and influence, rather than the complete lack of influence it currently has.
The AIIB board of directors are considering an $600 million loan towards the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline in March 2017. The TANAP project will cost $8.6 billion total and will be financed by the AIIB, World Bank, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and others. "TANAP project envisages transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. Turkey will get gas in 2018 and after completing the construction of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), gas will be delivered to Europe in early 2020.(Trend)"
Ratification - Spain
Spain has until December 31st to ratify the statutes of the AIIB in order to be represented as a founding member and subscribe to shares. It is already one of the twenty potential non-regional founders when it signed the by-laws in June 2015., The ratification was postponed due to a "long political impasse" with the country.
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