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S. Korea needs to use AIIB to expand into growing Asian infrastructure market

All Headlines 18:14 June 11, 2017

SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea needs to expand into the growing Asian infrastructure market by making full use of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a report by Seoul's central bank said Sunday.

According to the Bank of Korea's (BOK) overseas economic focus report, the AIIB, while still young, can exert a positive influence on international investment and development.

"South Korean companies can use the infrastructure bank to make inroads abroad," the BOK said. It added local businesses, financial institutions and government need to work together to allow firms to secure projects going forward.

The multilateral development bank opened for business in early 2016 with over 50 member countries, including South Korea. It aims to foster long-term economic development in the Asia-Pacific region by pooling various resources and providing assistance to large building projects.

Data provided by such organizations as the Asian Development Bank predicted the infrastructure market among emerging Asian countries will reach $1.3 trillion annually in the 2016-2030 period.

The latest report then said the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Development Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation should offer financial counseling to South Korean companies, and that Seoul needs to work with other countries to remove various administrative red tape that is holding back investments.

In the past year, the number of members in the AIIB have grown to over 70 and it has already provided US$2.18 billion in funds for 13 development projects.

The BOK then said South Korea needs to work to expand the country's influence within the development bank and strengthen ties with leading members like China. Seoul is the fifth largest stakeholder at the AIIB after China, India, Russia and Germany.
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