PH joins China-led investment bank

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Sunday, 3 January 2016 - Last Updated on February 6, 2017

The Philippines has officially joined the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), becoming the 57th founding member of the multilateral financial institution.

Philippine Ambassador to China Erlina Basilio signed the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB last Dec. 31 in what was apparently a last-minute decision.

The AIIB is similar to the World Bank, where the US is the largest shareholder, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where Japan is the largest shareholder.

The AIIB will hold its opening ceremony in Beijing on Jan. 16-18.

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the country needs more financial resources to plug its infrastructure gaps, with the financing requirement estimated at around $11.56 billion annually.

“ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), meanwhile, has a financing gap of $1.08 trillion through the decade. The Philippines, the ADB projects, stands to gain from closing this gap: accumulated reduction in trade costs is estimated to be at 15.6% of trade value and will result in a gain of about $220 billion in real income,” the DOF said in a report.

Filipino businessmen welcomed the government’s move to join AIIB, saying it will create more funding opportunities for infrastructure projects.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman emeritus Francis Chua said the Philippines’ participation in the China-led lending institution will mean access to more loans for both public and private projects.

While we have pending territorial disputes with China, our Preaident has the wisdom to recognize the great advantage of joining AIIB,” Chua said in a report.

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