WELLINGTON: The head of the New Zealand Treasury on Monday praised China’s contribution to the setting up of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf, who is New Zealand’s AIIB director, said it was in New Zealand’s interests to support infrastructure that led to stronger growth in the region.
New Zealand was the first OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nation to join talks to set up the bank and its membership further cemented its relationship with China, Makhlouf, who was in Beijing for the inaugural AIIB meeting, said in a statement from his office.
“The economic potential of Asia is unmatched and realizing that potential, with the help of the AIIB, will support better economic performance in New Zealand,” said Makhlouf.
The AIIB would help fill a large infrastructure deficit in the region, and other development banks were likely to adopt its principles of being lean, clean and green.
Makhlouf thanked the Chinese government for its role in establishing the “significant new addition to the world’s international financial architecture.”
New Zealand formally became a member of the AIIB last month and was the ninth country to formally become a founding member.
The AIIB will have around $100 billion of initial capital to promote sustainable development in the region.
New Zealand’s paid in capital is around NZ$125 million ($80.85 million), paid over five years.
AIIB investments would include improving transportation links, providing sanitation and clean drinking water, and supporting cleaner and more sustainable energy.