CBC Public Lecture Series: Corruption: Impact on China's Economy | Lessons from the Singapore Model


Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Outlook and Challenges
registerChina has risen with astonishing speed to be the second biggest economy in the world following the implementation of reform and development policy in 1979. In the process, 400 million of its people, nearly one-third of its population, were lifted out of abject poverty. Key to this remarkable achievement? Heavy investment in infrastructure. Since 1979, China has invested some 9 percent of its GDP to build infrastructure throughout the land - roads, bridges, rails, expressway, fiber optic cable network, electricity transmission lines, ports, and airports. It is no surprise that the first China-led multilateral development bank is dedicated to financing infrastructure in Asian region, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, known as AIIB.

First mooted by President Xi Jinping in October 2013 and later launched in October 2014, AIIB assembled 57 countries except Japan and the US to form Prospective Founding Members (PFMs), by April 15, 2015 deadline. On June 29, 2015, fifty PFMs signed the Articles of Agreement of the Beijing-based bank. It has an initial capital of US$50 billion. Its authorized capital is set at US$100 billion. The Bank is expected to commence operations by year end 2015.

In a 2009 study, the Asian Development Bank concluded that Asian region needs US$8 trillion of infrastructure investment over a decade. Countries in Asia, except Japan, have responded positively to the launch of AIIB. However, controversies about the bank still persist. Would the bank adhere to high standards of governance? Would it not compete against US led Bretton Woods institutions such as the World Bank, and the Asia-based multilateral Asian Development Bank? Would it lower lending standards, ignore environmental concerns, or tolerate corrupt practices in implementing projects? How about caring for gender equality and human rights?

In other words, would AIIB lead to a race to the bottom among development institutions? Or, as most Asian countries believe, AIIB will play a positive role to complement the work of the World Bank and the ADB? As the new kid on the block, AIIB may even lead existing multilateral institutions to further improve governance, transparency, and operational efficiency?

Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang

About The Speakers

Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang
Chairman Emeritus, Asian Corporate Governance Association Ambassador and the U.S. Executive Director to the Board of the Asian Development Bank (1993 – 1999)

Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang was appointed by President Clinton and approved by U.S. Senate in 1993 to serve as Ambassador and the U.S. Executive Director to the Board of the Asian Development Bank. The longest serving U.S. Executive Director at the bank, she led major policy initiatives during her 6-year tenure on governance, information disclosure, anti-corruption, and private sector participation. She will present her insights about AIIB's future role and its impact on Asia.

Click to view the speaker's full bio


Contact Ms Huang Li at huangli@nus.edu.sg or (65) 6601 4911.

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