AIIB's second annual meeting begins in S.Korea

Georgia's Finance Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili (R) and the AIIB President Jin Liqun hold hands. The Chinese Finance Ministry had repeatedly turned down South Korean requests for meetings after a dispute arose over the THAAD issue.

Seoul and Beijing also continue to be in disagreement over the deployment of the USA missile defense system THAAD, now operational at a former golf course in central South Korea. It is financed by individual country contributions proportionate to their economic size.

Nadia Radulovich, co-founder of Asia Viewers consultancy, said, "AIIB can help Argentina, which is an emerging economy in need of massive investment, to sustain economic growth". The Latin American members include the region's major economies. "I look forward to the role our new members will play once they fully join the Bank". It also declined to join the institution. "Interest in the bank remains high and our door remains open to new members that will be joining later this year". Membership of the ADB is now at 64. Finance Minister Samaraweera also attended the Board of Governors Roundtable discussion on "Financing Asia's Infrastructure Priorities".

India is the Bank's second largest shareholder and is becoming an increasingly important geography for AIIB investments.

China has a 32.33 percent stake in the bank, followed by India (9.08 percent) and Russian Federation (7.09 percent). In his debut speech at an global conference, Moon said South Korea will sharply increase its reliance on renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030 from about 5 percent in 2015. President Donald J. Trump has said he wants to renegotiate or terminate the Korea-US free-trade agreement that took effect in 2012.

The first AIIB meeting of the board of governors was held in Beijing in 2016.

The three-day meeting at the International Convention Center was attended by about 2,000 including delegations from both 57 founding members and 20 new members, international organizations and academia, as well as businessmen, financiers and journalists.

Along with the official sessions, a variety of side events were scheduled such as seminars on infrastructure and the one-on-one business meetings.

Now, the AIIB has 80 members - including all the Group of Seven countries except for the United States and Japan.

Local infrastructure companies like Hyundai Engineering and Construction, SK Engineering and Construction and Dowha Engineering introduced their offshore projects and technologies.

AIIB has about 100 staff, which some meeting attendees said limits the depth of sector expertise and leads it to rely on partners to carry the load on project assessments. Finance Minister Kim, who gave a speech at the opening ceremony, emphasized the importance of "harmony".

  • Joey Payne