An eleventh member has been added to the AIIB's president's advisory panel, former Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. This panel is intended to provide objective guidance to the AIIB President, Jin Liqun.
The other members include: former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz, former Finance Minister of Sweden Anders Borg, former Prime Minister of Japan Yukio Hatoyama, Secretary-General of the Global Foundation Steve Howard, Chair Professor of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance of South Korea, Dr Oh-Seok Hyun, former Finance Minister of Nigeria and the former Managing Director of the World Bank Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister of Timor-Leste Emilia Pires, former US Ambassador, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Strategic Associates Paul Speltz, Professor at the London School of Economics and former Chief Economist at the World Bank Lord Nicholas Stern and former Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Tung Chee-Hwa.
Belarus Seeks Increased Cooperation with Major Development Organizations
Belarus seeks to join the AIIB, in order to gain access to its wealth of development funds. Belarus has recently signed on to a deal with the IMF as well, in hopes of improving their credit rating and increasing their options for lower cost credit resources. These moves are in line with the efforts of the Belarus government to become more credible in the eyes of the OECD.
A Shift in Development Financing
Bond market creation in Asia could be the solution to risk-averse banks who have been unwilling to invest in long-term infrastructure development projects in the region. Executives at both the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank see bond markets as a way the private sector can become more involved in development financing.
Belgium hopes to join
Belgium is hoping to become a member of the AIIB sometime this coming year. This is part of a larger strategy in order to help become closer with the One Belt One Road initiative led by China. The Belgian ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are strategically located in Europe for the 'belt and road' plan.
Big appointment for Okonjo-Iweala
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria has been appointed the newest member of the international advisory panel of the AIIB. Weeks before, she had rejected proposals to take an appointment with the Buhari administration to stop the economic recession in Nigeria. The panel consists of 10 other members including former finance ministers, a former World Bank chief economist, among others in a position to provide strategic advice to the President.
Philippine Finance Secretary talks Project Financing
In light of the recent visit of Philippine President Duterte to China, new discussion in the Philippine administration is surfacing concerning its membership in the AIIB. The Finance Secretary, Carlos G. Dominguez III, stated that the country has high hopes for addressing many of its infrastructure needs with the help of the bank. It is estimated that roughly 8 trillion Philippine pesos ($165,778,080,000.00 USD) will be allocated for infrastructure project spending. Dominguez also stated that the administration is working to quickly finalize AIIB ratification through the Senate in order to get projects underway.
More Concerning Duterte's Hopes with China
The Philippines is dominating AIIB news this week as president Duterte's recent visit to China is in the spotlight. Duterte stated that his primary discussion topics will revolve around infrastructure and energy development. The Philippines hopes to benefit from the bank's projects as well as increase its trade connectivity with Europe via the One Belt, One Road initiative.