AIIB chief vows to run clean, lean, green institution

Updated: 2016-01-22 08:37

By Zheng Yangpeng(China Daily Europe)

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Jin Liqun says oversight will be implemented without compromise

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will be a 21st-century multilateral lender with a rigorous corporate culture, its first president said on Jan 17.

It will have a "lean staff" and will strive to avoid red tape, according to Jin Liqun.

Making his debut appearance as the bank's president, Jin said at a news conference that he envisions a bank that is "clean, lean and green". It will combine the merits of existing multilateral development banks and competitive private companies, he said.

"I'm committed to running the bank according to the highest possible standards and according to the principles outlined in the articles of agreement - transparency, openness, accountability and independence," he said, speaking in English.

He vowed to set a "clear division of responsibility" between the bank's board and management, saying there will be a special unit on compliance, effectiveness and integrity, which will exercise oversight of the management and report directly to the board.

To fulfill the "lean" commitment, in the first year the bank will increase its workforce only to between 100 and 150. The initial staffing level is 50.

AIIB chief vows to run clean, lean, green institution

Referring to the "clean" commitment, Jin said implementation is crucial. "It's important that you don't just have something brilliant on paper, it is important to implement it. ... As president of the bank, I will ensure that the oversight mechanism is implemented without any compromise."

He said he is planning for the first loans to be approved before the end of this year. The scale of loans in the first year will be modest - between $500 million and $1.2 billion - with energy, power, transportation, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics the priorities.

The bank has been working closely with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to identify possible co-financing projects, Jin said. "We already have a very good project pipeline, including co-financing projects and standalone projects vetted by our own professionals. We're also open to other partners in the private sector."

But he also said that "just preparing these pipelines and making the loans" is not the most important aspect for a bank in its initial stages. It is "far more important" for the first president to set the stage by building a corporate culture that holds employees accountable.

An environmental and social framework is among the core policies in the making.

World Bank veteran Stephen F. Lintner has led the drafting of a paper on this.

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