22:10 GMT18 June 2021
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    The top Chinese leader addressed key issues and challenges for the Beijing-based multilateral development bank at its opening ceremony, urging members to focus on the institution's role in responding to global challenges and building nations under shared goals.

    Chinese president Xi Jinping addressed the 2020 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Annual meeting on Tuesday.

    The meeting will take place from 28 to 29 July and will be attended by the bank's governors and senior management online to discuss vital topics with stakeholders and experts on the future of the institution.

    In the bank's opening speech, President Xi said that the AIIB had been established in January 2016 as a "professional, efficient and clean" multilateral development bank, but had shifted to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and revive member-state economies via its Crisis Recovery Facility.

    "The global response to COVID-19 has made it clear that mankind rise and fall together in a community with a shared future. Mutual support and cooperation in solidarity are the only way for mankind to overcome crises," President Xi said.

    He added that countries should pursue more "inclusive global governance" as well as effective multilateral institutions and regional cooperation, allowing the bank to serve as a platform to promote development for all member with a "shared future for mankind".

    The Chinese president proposed three suggestions to achieve such goals, including aiming for "development for all" making the AIIB a bank promoting "development across the world".

    "Peace and development remain the call of our times. For countries to develop together, infrastructure connectivity serves as an important physical foundation", President Xi said.

    The AIIB should work to provide "high-quality, low-cost and sustainable investment" for traditional and new forms of infrastructure, he said.

    The bank should also progress "with the times", President Xi said, adding that innovation held the "keys to our future".

    "As a new member of the global economic governance system, the AIIB is well-placed to adapt to changes and act accordingly. By constantly updating its development philosophy, business model and institutional governance and by providing flexible and diverse development financing products, the AIIB could help enhance connectivity, promote green development and boost technological [advancement]," he said.

    President Xi urged the bank to maintain high standards and quality while keeping in mind the "actual development needs" of members to shape the "best practices" for international development cooperation.

    Members should also respond to adjustments and shifts in the "global economic landscape" and work with further partners.

    "It needs to provide public goods for our region and beyond, push for regional economic integration, and help make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all", he said.

    China had always backed multilateralism and international development "in the spirit of openness and mutually-beneficial cooperation", he said, adding that Beijing would continue working with members to support the bank and step up efforts against risks and challenges as well as promote "shared development" among nations.

    "I hope the AIIB will live up to its mission and our expectations and prove worthy of our times," President Xi concluded.

    The speech comes as the bank donated $5bn to fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as boosting financial support for small and medium enterprises in Vietnam deeply affected by the economic crisis, among other initiatives in recent months.

    Further measures such as the bank's Sustainable Development Bond, priced at 3bn yuan on the Chinese Interbank Bond Market (CIBM), aimed to tackle the pandemic and would carry the 'Combatting COVID-19' label.


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    investment, energy infrastructure, digital infrastructure, infrastructure project, infrastructure, SARS coronavirus, coronavirus, COVID-19, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
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