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1 Oct 2021

Korinna Horta and Wawa Wang, HEINRICH-BÖLL-STIFTUNG (Germany)

Commentary: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as Global Leader in Infrastructure Finance, at What Cost?

"The Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: Global Leader in Infrastructure Finance, at What Cost?" October 2021

The Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) opened for business in 2016 and rapidly became a major actor in global finance. By the end of 2020, the AIIB could count 103 approved member countries. The AIIB’s business is financing large-scale infrastructure projects such as power plants, dams, and transportation corridors. Such investments by their very nature carry high environmental and social risks. They are also often associated with corruption and high levels of debt. In addition to it the AIIB plays an important role in China’s efforts to shape a new form of multilateralism in which it defines the rules.

This paper provides an overview of the institution’s close alignment with China and examines the AIIB’s policy provisions on transparency and disclosure as the institution positions itself to enter a dynamic growth phase.