Finance Minister AMA Muhith will participate in the opening ceremony of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing.
Before leaving for Beijing, Muhith told a news agency that Bangladesh expects big-time funding for major infrastructure projects from the China-sponsored AIIB.
The AIIB will be formally launched on January 16 at Beijing after it has been in the works for the last two years. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang will launch the AIIB and the inaugural ceremony will be marked by cultural events.
Altogether 57 nations have been approved as founder members of the AIIB. China is funding $50 billion of AIIB’s $100 billion paid-up capital, the rest is being funded by the 56 other member states.
Announced by President Xi Jinping during the 2013 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the bank has become one of China's biggest foreign policy successes.
Many close and traditional allies of the US, like the UK and Germany have joined the AIIB. The only important US ally to stay away from the AIIB is Japan. Beisdes mojor US allies Britain and Germany, four more US allies such as Australia, the Philippines, Italy and South Korea also joined the bank.
In September last year, Bangladesh decided to join AIIB after which, State Minister for Finance MA Manna went to China to sign the MoU.
The bank will focus on financing projects in power, transport, and urban infrastructure well as regional connectivity in Asia.
AIIB President-designate Jin Liqun met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during his Bangladesh visit in November last year and had said that the bank’s first investment will be in Bangladesh.
During his visit the Chinese capital, Muhith will join AIIB’s Board of Governors meeting as the finance minister of a member state. He is also scheduled to hold a one-to-one with AIIB President-designate Jin Liqun.
Muhith, who has been serving as the finance minister for the seventh year, said Bangladesh’s biggest success is to lift itself to a lower-middle income country.
“But we do not want to stop here; we have a long way to go. In the last 7 years, the government’s priority was power, energy and infrastructure," he added, according to a news agency.