The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced on 23 March that Hong Kong will become a new member upon deposit of the first installment of capital subscription with the bank.
The AIIB is a Multinational Development Bank headquarted in Beijing. AIIB's mission is to improve economic and social development in Asia by investing in high quality, financially viable and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.
It is expected to play a key role in the financing of China's visionary development policy, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the "Belt and Road Initiative").
Hong Kong's Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, welcomed AIIB's announcement.
"Hong Kong is the international financial centre in Asia, with the unique advantage of 'one country, two systems', a well developed, robust and liquid financial market, as well as an abundance of top professionals with global vision and experience,'; he said.
'Hong Kong's professional services and financial services sectors can contribute to the success of the AIIB. Hong Kong's participation in the AIIB can also create new opportunities for the relevant sectors, and can further reinforce our position as a premier international financial centre.';
The terms for Hong Kong's membership are a subscription of 7 651 of the Bank's shares, of which 1 530 shall be paid-in shares (amounting to about HK$1.2 billion, payable over five years) and 6 121 shall be callable shares. Once the Government has obtained funding approval from the Legislative Council's Finance Committee, expected in April, and the first installment is paid, Hong Kong will formally become a new member of the AIIB.
The AIIB was founded in January 2015 with 57 regional and non-regional members. Members from the European Union are Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Among the 13 prospective new regional and non-regional members, including Hong Kong, that the AIIB has just announced are European Union countries Belgium, Hungary and Ireland.