​PNG invited to join Asian investment bank

Papua New Guinea has been invited to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a member.

AIIB is based in Beijing, China, and is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region.

The bank has 52 member states while another 18 are prospective members as of March 2017 and was proposed as an initiative by the government of China.

Head of communication and development at AIIB, Laurel Ostfield, said AIIB is yet to fund infrastructure projects in the Pacific region.

Fiji and Samoa are the only members from the Pacific region, Samoa recently joined this month.

Ostfield told Loop PNG during a dialogue with Asia Pacific journalists that AIIB is very interested in bringing on members in that part of the world.

The journalists are in China as part of the 2017 Jefferson Fellowships program organised by the East-West Center based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Ostfield explained that it’s all about having the right projects to come forward.

“We ask Papua New Guinea to join us as a member.

“Climate change mitigation and adaptation projects will definitely be considered as these are the kind of projects that we’re looking at funding,” Ostfield said. 

The AIIB initiative gained support from 37 regional and 20 non-regional Prospective Founding Members (PFM), all of which have signed the Articles of Agreement that form the legal basis for the bank.

The bank started operation after the agreement entered into force on December 25, 2015.

“It’s very important that the projects that we invest in are financially viable, environmentally friendly and that they’re embraced by the local community.

“It is within our government and social framework that all our projects must go through community consultation.”

Ostfield added that the information must be presented in a way that the local community can absorb the information and that’s something that is embedded in AIIB’s policies. 

(Picture: CCTV News)

Quintina Naime