A UAE delegation attended the fourth annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, is mandated to represent the UAE at the Bank’s meetings and events and on its board.
Following last year’s event in Mumbai, India, the 2019 meeting ran from 12th to 13th July in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. In line with AIIB’s strategic vision to step up collaboration among countries in various aspects of sustainable infrastructure development, the meeting took place outside Asia for the first time, illustrating the economic and social benefits of better connectivity within and between countries and regions.
Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and the UAE’s Governor on the AIIB Board of Governors, led the UAE delegation. Other members included Mohamed Issa Abushahab, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, EU and Luxembourg, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD and the UAE’s Alternate Governor on the AIIB Board of Governors, as well as several ADFD employees.
The 2019 annual meeting and its sideline events convened AIIB governors and directors to engage with key stakeholders from government and private sector entities, thought leaders, key business and development influencers, as well as civil society representatives and experts. Running under the theme ‘Cooperation and Connectivity’, the gathering featured discussions on the benefits of a stronger Asia-Europe cooperation framework, mobilising finance, sustainable infrastructure, digital connectivity, governance in cybersecurity and blended finance.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Al Jaber said: "Holding the fourth annual meeting of the AIIB Board of Governors in Europe is an important step in enhancing cooperation between member countries, as well as consolidating efforts to improve lives in developing countries."
He added: "Following in the footsteps of its founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE is driving and institutionalising sustainable development through cooperation to ensure continued prosperity around the world. As a founding member of AIIB, the country supports the Bank’s development goals in Asia, helping establish a framework of collaboration and effective communication between member countries, as well as promoting investments in development through utilising resources available in the region."
Dr Al Jaber noted that the Bank’s objectives are in perfect alignment with the UAE’s international social, humanitarian and development aid programme. He pointed out that as an important partner in the development process, the UAE has ranked first in the world in terms of the value of development and humanitarian assistance relative to national income for five years in a row.
The 2019 annual meeting also explored the mechanism of accelerating development efforts in Asia through financing infrastructure projects with the aim of maintaining a balanced level of economic growth in the region. On the sidelines of the gathering, Dr Al Jaber met with the President of AIIB, as well as several ministers participating in the event.
In line with its overall development goals, AIIB prioritises investment in sustainable infrastructure that supports countries in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as cross-border infrastructure that links road and rail projects, ports, power grids and telecommunication networks across Asia. The Bank also provides innovative solutions for capital mobilisation from the private sector, and cooperates with multilateral development banks (MDBs) and governments in investing in sustainable development projects.
The UAE joined AIIB as a permanent founding member in April 2015. The country’s contribution to the bank’s paid-up capital of US$100 billion accounts for US$1.185 billion. By June 2019, AIIB financed 40 development projects in Asian countries with a total value of US$8.03 billion.