Austria to Support China's "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"?

Published: March 27, 2015; 17:30 · (FriedlNews)

The Austrian Finance Ministry confirmed that Austria will participate in the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) project after receiving the appropriate approval from the government. Now it checks for a potential engagement. China is taking matters into its own hands. It will use the new bank to expand its influence at the expense of America and Japan. Its decision to fund a new multilateral bank reflects its frustration with the slow pace of global economic governance reform. China is the biggest economy in Asia, but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is still dominated by the Japanese: Japan’s voting share is twice China’s and the ADB’s president has always been Japanese. Also, reforms to give China more say at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been delayed for years.

Will Austria support the new "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank"? / Picture: © www.crossed-flag-pins.com

Concentrating on the region's poorer countries and sustainable economic development, AIIB plans to finance for energy, transport and telecommunications infrastructure, urban and rural development, as well as the environment sector.

"Austria has already had close economic and political ties with Asian countries and has always been so far very positive about international projects," Johannes Frischmann, spokesman for Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling, told a Chinese news agency. "Austria's stance in the project is positive, but there are still some issues to consider".

Xinhua says, that more European countries confirmed intentions to join the AIIB and showed great interests in the China-proposed initiative, as the application deadline of March 31 draws near.

Twenty-one countries, including China, India and Singapore, signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing in October last year to build the AIIB.

European founding members so far are France, Germany,  Italy,  Luxembourg, Switzerland an the United Kingdom.

Japan and the United States have remained sceptical about the negotiation. America has lobbied allies not to join the AIIB.