13:58 GMT10 April 2021
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    Several high-level officials addressed attendees of the 2020 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Annual Meeting on Tuesday morning. The virtual event, taking place from 28 to 29 July, aims to review the bank's progress on key issues affecting its member-states and affiliates.

    Speakers at the event, which was moderated by Secretary of the Board of Governors Sir Danny Alexander, discussed the multilateral development bank's (MDB) progress on tackling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the bank's future in developing key technologies and infrastructure with its members under shared goals.

    The speeches come as AIIB president Jin Liqun was elected to a second five-year term by the bank's Board of Governors, with the announcement taking place later in the day.

    Sputnik takes a closer look at the highlights of the speech.

    His Excellency Mr Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China

    In the face of COVID-19, the AIIB has moved promptly to set up a COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility to support its members in containing the virus and reviving their economies.

    This is a typical example of the AIIB's power to action. 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.

    To address issues emerging in the course of economic globalisation, countries should pursue more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral institutions, and more robust regional cooperation.

    In this context, the AIIB may grow into a new platform that promotes development for all its members and facilitates the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

    Mr Jin Liqun, President of the AIIB

    Before being hit by COVID-19, productivity growth had already weakened substantially in emerging and developing economies.

    This pandemic has placed huge pressure on AIIB members, particularly lower-income countries and the most vulnerable.

    Incomes are down. Debts are up. Uncertainty remains. Unless effective measures are taken to reverse this trend, we will suffer the loss of a generation. We will not allow such a disaster to befall our people and future generations.

    As part of the coordinated international response to the pandemic, we swiftly pivoted our investment strategy and launched our COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility.

    To meet immediate demands, we have approved nearly $6bn USD for public health and emergency budgetary support in 12 members. This brings AIIB’s total investment portfolio since 2016 to nearly $20bn USD.

    Our Bank is a timely creation. We have unequivocally demonstrated our relevance, potency and capacity to do what is required by AIIB members and their people.

    Hon. Bjarni Benediktsson, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, AIIB & Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Republic of Iceland

    From the perspective of an island-nation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, we understand the importance of protecting the oceans from global climate change and pollution, including marine litter.

    Over the last decades, Iceland has been a pioneer in designing and implementing port assistance to implement sustainable fisheries.

    The oceans are probably our most important natural infrastructure. The oceans cover around 70 percent of the Earth's surface, contain over 97 percent of all water on Earth and and produce half of all our oxygen, not to mention its food contribution and potential energy contribution.

    They also act as our chief climate regulator. In fact, more than 90 percent of warming of the Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean.

    The AIIB should consider developing aspects on developing advice on projects that help restore or sustainably maintain the oceans and their vital resources for the benefit of the global population and their economies, obviously with a focus on Asia.

    HE Liu Kun, Chair of the Board of Governors, AIIB and Minister of Finance, People’s Republic of China

    I am pleased to see that the AIIB under the leadership of president Jin Liqun not only achieved rapid business development and strengthened its institutional capacity, but also registered notable governance progress.

    The AIIB made 18 business strategies and policies and established the accountability framework and oversight mechanism which formulated the Presidential election rules [and] completed the first performance review of the President and established higher governance standards among NDBs.

    Since the beginning of this year, the AIIB has actively responded of challenges of COVID-19 while ensuring staff safety and banking business continuity, it has intensified cooperation with other multilateral development institutions to quickly and effectively support pandemic control and economic recovery of members.

    This not only reflects the AIIB's mobility, resilience and vitality, but also demonstrates its members firm support to the Bank.


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    Jin Liqun, Xi Jinping, critical infrastructure, infrastructure projects, digital infrastructure, infrastructure project, energy infrastructure, Infrastructure Bill, infrastructure, SARS coronavirus, coronavirus, COVID-19, investment, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
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