The role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in sustainable development: Assessing the first three years

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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), now three years old, is the newest multilateral development bank and one of the first China-led intergovernmental organisations. In May 2019, GEG and the Blavatnik School of Government convened a conference on the past and possible future operational policies of the AIIB.

The conference was held with representatives from the AIIB, ministries of relevant countries, multilateral development banks, think tanks, consultants, academics, and NGOs. Attendees shared observations on the AIIB’s past operations and discussed the direction of the AIIB in coming years.

The AIIB is expected to play an important role in infrastructure development considering the scale of its budget and unique character. To this end, the AIIB is expected to develop operational policies with careful consideration regarding its potential influence on the world.

On one hand, since the world is currently facing a severe lack of necessary funds for infrastructure development, the AIIB is expected to play an important role as a public financier and a catalyser for private finances to meet demand. On the other, as the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals require that development finance institutions avoid contributing to global warming, the AIIB is required to develop appropriate eligibility criteria for project selection and implementation. The workshop considered the AIIB’s experience and future prospects across four dimensions: operations, sustainability, governance, and innovation.

Read more about outputs from the workshop.