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S. Korea backs China-led AIIB's efforts for sustainable infrastructure

All News 16:26 June 16, 2017

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's finance minister vowed Friday to fully support a China-led infrastructure bank's efforts to build sustainable infrastructure as he expressed hope that such measures will help create jobs and promote inclusive growth.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon also said the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) should come up with a comprehensive strategy for investments to stay on the path of progress.

The multinational lender -- set up in 2015 to fund infrastructure projects in Asia -- has so far approved 16 projects worth $2.5 billion.

South Korea joined the AIIB as one of its founding members. The bank is widely viewed as a potential counterbalance to U.S.-led multilateral lenders, such as the Asian Development Bank, amid growing Chinese economic clout.

South Korea "fully supports AIIB's pursuit of sustainable infrastructure," Kim said in an opening speech at the AIIB's second annual meeting in South Korea's southern resort city of Jeju. The meeting is set to run through Sunday.

The bank has focused on building infrastructure that can effectively address challenges, including climate change and regional disparity, in a move that underscored its commitment to meet sustainable development goals.

Still, Kim called for harmony in regards to the allocation of resources for infrastructure development, noting that investment decisions often focused on maximizing economic benefits at the expense of environmental and social impacts. He also said an inconsistency between infrastructure policies and economic policies could diminish the impact of investment.

"Harmony could lead to an optimal balance among different factors necessary for sustainable infrastructure investment," Kim said.

The annual meeting drew about 2,000 participants from 77 member states, including Chinese Finance Minister Xiao Jie and Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.


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