AIIB head fields questions from news executives
Updated: 2016-06-01 09:58
Zaffar Abbas, editor, Dawn newspaper
When you describe reforming distribution, what do you feel was lacking in the decision-making and distribution at IMF, ADB or the World Bank, or whether their decisions were politically motivated, and did that prompt you to advance this idea?
I think we can evaluate the performance or contribution of any international institution only from a historical perspective. The Bretton Woods institutions were created before the conclusion of the World War II. So it was timely for all these countries to meet in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. China was also a member. All the last seven days, the Bretton Woods institutions, and the new institutions that were created more or less patterned on these institutions, have contributed enormously to international financial or economic stability, to reconstruction and the readoption of recruitment.
No institution, just like no individual, is perfect. So when we talk about the international financial order, or international economic order, you may have noticed the Chinese position, that we do not intend to upend the existing international financial order because we in China have also benefited from this system, particularly over the last three decades.
Now, I understand these institutions are also trying to improve, to undertake reforms, to make them serve better.
We were all created in the 21st century, meeting the needs of countries from the 21st century, so we have a lot to learn from the existing institutions, and we also enjoy the advantages of the institutions of different cultures. And any institution will make mistakes. I do not think we will be flawless in the future.
I think what is important is, first of all, to understand the reality and acknowledge or confess that you made mistakes－and that you will have the guts to confess and to correct. No mistake is a mistake unless you don't want to take it back. So I think this is very very important for understanding.
It is not appropriate for me to make judgments on the merits or demerits of existing institutions. My job is to learn from the strong points. And I would say this is the shared view of all 57 members of the institution, because they are all members of existing institutions, right? So when some people asked me, 'Aren't you worried about rivalry with the World Bank or ADB?,' I told them that I worked for six years on the board of the World Bank, five years in management. If you think the sibling, the new institution, has sold out the existing institution, I would not agree.
What is lacking in the practices of existing institutions?
It's not appropriate for me to comment on the merits or demerits. But one essential fact is that the existing institutions mostly are made of the developed nations. This institution is made by developing nations, so we can offer the development experience of developing countries that has accumulated over the last half-century, particularly the last three decades.