UAE Discusses Sustainable Development in Asia at Second Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Governors

A UAE delegation attended the second annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The event, held for the first-time outside China, on Jeju Island in South Korea from 16 to 18 June 2017, aimed to strategise and discuss collaboration among Asian countries in various aspects of sustainable infrastructure development.

The UAE delegation was headed by His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the UAE’s Alternate Governor at the AIIB Board of Governors. Moreover, the meeting convened governors from member countries, partner institutions, civil society organisations, the media and leading experts from a wide range of specialisations.

As part of the agenda, the UAE delegation participated in a series of expert-led sessions which enabled member countries to share experiences, identify opportunities, highlight changing attitudes, examine best practices and spark debates to arrive at recommendations. Once implemented, these recommendations will lead to optimal development outcomes for Asian countries.

On this occasion, His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State and the UAE’s Governor at the AIIB Board of Governors, said: “The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a crucial platform for cooperation among nations in order to promote sustainable socio-economic developments across Asia especially towards countries that need support.”

His Excellency Al Jaber added: “The UAE’s participation in the Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank is in line with the UAE leadership’s directives, specifically its collaborative efforts to assist developing countries in addressing key development challenges. Moreover, emphasising the importance of international cooperation with regard to development aid, demonstrates the leadership’s keenness in continuing the legacy of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”

Furthermore, His Excellency Al Jaber pointed out that the UAE is dedicated to collaborating with the bank as a key partner in the broader context of regional development to achieve universal prosperity across the region.”

The second annual meeting of the AIIB Board of Governors, facilitated decisions and approvals for resolutions. It also included a collaborative roundtable session fostering the free flow of strategic ideas amongst the governors in regard to the bank’s infrastructure priorities and demands, financing, investment opportunities, policy and regulatory procedures.

For his part, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “Our participation in the second annual meeting of AIIB governors demonstrates the importance the UAE places on infrastructure development as a prerequisite for accelerating sustainable socio-economic development in emerging nations around the world. As one of the founding members of AIIB, our country seeks to effectively contribute to the growth and diversification of resources and concessionary loans dedicated to funding infrastructure projects across Asia”.

Highlighting the UAE’s long-standing tradition of supporting developing countries, he said: “The UAE has been funding infrastructure projects that help achieve sustainable development and enhance living standards in developing countries for more than 45 years. As a result, the UAE, in 2016, attained the title ‘top world aid donor’ in the field of official development assistance (ODA) via a report by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  This achievement had also been accomplished during the years of 2013 and 2014.”

He added: “We are committed to leveraging our rich experience towards financing projects that meet Asia’s infrastructure needs and translate into long-term economic impact for the region. Through our attendance at the meeting, we hope to advance our cooperation with other Asian nations in areas of mutual interest.”

The UAE, alongside 76 other countries, joined AIIB as a permanent founding member in April 2015. The country’s contribution to the bank’s capital of US$100 billion accounts for US$1.185 billion. ADFD is mandated to represent the UAE at the bank.