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Jin Liqun Named President-Elect of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Georgia

China took another step in its bid to create a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank with the naming of its candidate as the likely president of the new institution.

WSJ:Another step for China in bid to create rival to World Bank, Asian Development Bank

The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is one of several projects that President Xi Jinping has unveiled recently in a bid to expand China’s influence and financial clout in Southeast and Central Asia.

At a negotiators’ meeting on Monday in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, member shareholders chose Jin Liqun—China’s former vice finance minister—as president-elect of the AIIB, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. He was one of two candidates after Russia nominated Andrey Bugrov, vice president of the mining and smelting company Norilsk Nickel Mining & Metallurgical Co.

According to Xinhua, Mr. Jin was unanimously agreed upon.

China’s approximately 30% stake in the AIIB has given it an effective veto over major issues, and the well-regarded Mr. Jin, who has been leading the bank’s interim secretariat, has been widely expected to gain the top job. The China-led infrastructure bank has stressed that the election—expected to be held sometime in the next several months—will be an “open, transparent and merit-based process.”

Mr. Jin has worked at the Asian Development Bank, the China International Capital Corp. and at China’s sovereign-wealth fund, the China Investment Corp.

A 2014 World Bank study found that the average time for a privately managed bank project to go from concept to implementation is two years and five months. But veterans of multilateral organizations say it is a fine balance between moving quickly and taking the time required to build a consensus, properly vet projects and ensure that responsibility is shared if a project fails.

Georgia was the 45th country to join the AIIB in June. By joining AIIB Georgia was able to attract preferential financial resources for implementing infrastructural projects. The capital of the bank was $100 billion USD. The main directions of the bank was stimulating economic development, improving trade connections in Asia by investing in infrastructure and producing.