Beijing, 18 January 2016
Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf today welcomed the official launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China. The Secretary attended the inaugural meetings of the Bank as New Zealand's Governor and addressed the other 56 founding members during the proceedings.
New Zealand was the first OECD member to join negotiations to establish the Bank, a fact recognised during the Secretary's meetings with Vice Minister Shi Yaobin and the inaugural President of the Bank, Jin Liqun.
New Zealand's membership of the AIIB further cements the strength of our relationship with China and demonstrates our commitment to sustainable economic development throughout Asia.
"New Zealand is part of Asia so it is clearly in our interests to support infrastructure that leads to stronger growth in the region" says Mr Makhlouf. "The economic potential of Asia is unmatched and realising that potential, with the help of the AIIB, will support better economic performance in New Zealand."
Mr Makhlouf acknowledged the hard work of the New Zealand negotiating team led by John Whitehead. "Our Chinese counterparts also thanked us for the constructive role they played during just one intensive year to set up the Bank."
The Bank will help to fill a large infrastructure deficit in the region, and complement the work of other development banks. There will be opportunities for New Zealand firms to participate in the Bank's projects.
The Bank sets high standards for governance, transparency, and efficiency. It is likely that other development banks will look to adopt the principles of being lean, clean and green.
The Secretary thanked the Chinese Government for their leadership in establishing this significant new addition to the world's international financial architecture, which is a reflection of the increasingly important contribution of Asia to the global economy.