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24 May 2024

Abu Dhabi to become home to first operational office of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Published
By E247

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and UAE Governor of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); and Jin Liqun, President of AIIB, signed the Host Member Agreement for establishing the AIIB’s Interim Operational Hub in the UAE on the Abu Dhabi Global Market, AIIB’s first overseas office.

On this occasion, Dr. Al Jaber and Jin Liqun held in-depth discussions on the emerging opportunities for the AIIB to strengthen its role in the region as a leading development bank and on the importance of reforming the international financial institutions (IFIs) and finding practical and comprehensive solutions to address the imperative of scaling up financing of global climate action through these institutions.

Dr. Al Jaber said that the agreement to host the overseas operational office of the AIIB reflects the UAE’s commitment to enhancing cooperation with international organisations and institutions focused on sustainable economic development for developing countries. He also noted that the operational office would serve as a strategic destination in the Middle East and the world, supporting the Bank’s development agenda and financing infrastructure projects to achieve sustainable economic growth, especially where it is needed the most in the global south.

“The world is playing catch up on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the most significant obstacle we face is capital. We need to scale up climate finance to accelerate clean energy, adaptation, and support loss and damage. International Financial Institutions, such as AIIB, can play a critical role in desriking investments and supporting emerging economies. This will boost economic growth, help eradicate poverty, and accelerate climate action.”

Dr. Al Jaber’s remarks come as preparations for COP28 are underway, with the UAE set to host the conference from 30th November – 12th December at Expo City Dubai. The issue of climate finance remains a key concern for countries who are being asked to accelerate and raise ambition on climate action.

“I have just returned from the Spring Meetings in Washington D.C., as well as the G7 meeting in Japan. At both of these major global events, climate finance took center stage. The world needs to act faster and go further to ensure the availability, accessibility, and affordability of climate finance. The AIIB can play an instrumental role in moving from ambition to action.”

“As a founding member of the AIIB, the UAE actively contributes to the bank’s sound governance and rapid growth,” Jin said. ”The establishment of the operational office in the UAE gives the bank a robust platform to manage its growing investment portfolio. It also enhances our client and member engagement, project monitoring and implementation services across the globe.”

Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, UAE Alternate Governor of AIIB, added that the agreement aligned with the bank’s strategic expansion and strengthened its presence in the Middle East and North Africa region. Since the start of its operations in 2016, the Bank has been operating according to an ambitious vision that has contributed to increasing the volume of financing in infrastructure projects. “The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s objectives also align with the bank’s strategy in financing sustainable development projects to achieve economic and social development for the benefit of developing countries,” he said.

The UAE joined as a founding and permanent member of AIIB in 2015. The bank currently has 106 members. The bank's capital consists of US$100 billion and the UAE’s contribution to its capital amounts to approximately US$1.185 billion. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development was mandated to represent the UAE in the bank and to actively participate in its periodic meetings. AIIB has financed 212 projects with a total value of US$40.37 billion, which have contributed to economic development and improved the quality of life for communities in beneficiary countries.