Switzerland signs on as founder member of AIIB

Updated: 2015-06-30 14:50

By Zhang Yuchen(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Switzerland has signed the Articles of Agreement as a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The AIIB aims to promote sustainable economic development in Asia with a focus on poorer countries in the region.

Johann Schneider-Ammann, Swiss Federal Councillor on behalf of the country addressed the importance of the AIIB among international development banks.

Main areas include the financing of infrastructure in energy, transport and telecommunications, urban and rural development and the environment. The bank will have a share capital of $100 billion.

It will be able to grant loans, acquire shareholdings and provide guarantees. The new institution will work with existing development banks and complement their activities. Despite overall Chinese demand only growing half as strongly as it was a few years ago, the latest developments in Sino-Swiss trade relations appear all the more impressive, Schneider-Ammann said.

Participation in the founding provides Switzerland with a unique opportunity to assist in work on the statutes and position itself well in the institution, he added. It sees its role in helping ensure that the new bank respects international standards in its operational activities and in development cooperation. Its longstanding experience and credibility in multilateral development banks are an asset in that regard.

Switzerland and China are enjoying the benefits of a bilateral free trade agreement that came into effect last year.