UAE to chair AIIB’s board of governors meeting next week

The online meeting will focus on the sustainable economy and boosting investment in infrastructure

The UAE is one of the founding members of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.  Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

The UAE will chair the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s board of governors annual meeting next week as the global economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic amid a focus on issues to tackle climate change.

The annual meeting will be chaired by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE’s governor of the AIIB board of governors, the Beijing-based bank said on Thursday.

The online meeting, which will be held from October 26 to 28, will focus on a number of key issues including investing in cross-border connectivity, green financing, resilient healthcare infrastructure and the role of global multilateral institutions to support projects based on environmental, social, and governance principles.

“There is clear alignment between the AIIB’s mandate and the UAE’s strategic plans, including the Principles of the 50 and the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative,” Dr Al Jaber said.

“The UAE’s competitive advantages, expertise and experience complement the AIIB’s work to advance infrastructure investment in emerging markets and developing economies. In addition, our reputation as a trusted and responsible investor will help attract high-quality investment partnerships.”

The UAE joined fellow AIIB founder members Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan, as well as 29 other countries from Asia and Europe, the UK, Germany and Russia, in April 2015.

AIIB began operations in Beijing in January 2016 and has grown to 103 approved members globally. It is capitalised at $100 billion and triple-A-rated by the major international credit rating agencies.

Earlier this month, the UAE unveiled plans to push for carbon neutrality by 2050 and invest Dh600 billion ($163.5bn) in clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades. It also announced the Principles of the 50 initiative to boost growth in various sectors.

“This year’s meeting comes at a historic moment, coinciding with the hosting of Expo 2020 and an increased global interest in taking serious climate action. We look forward to chairing the annual meeting, which I’m confident will result in insightful and productive discussions to accelerate the sustainable economy and drive infrastructure development,” Dr Al Jaber said.

The world needs more than $50 trillion by 2030 to upgrade and build a reliable infrastructure, the AIIB said.

“Mobilising private capital is key to delivering on this task and eliminating the global infrastructure investment gap will require tremendous international co=operation. Governments will need to champion assets that are attractive to private investment and the private sector must invest in projects informed by ESG principles,” the bank said.

In 2020, the bank announced its strategic ambition to allocate 50 per cent of its total funding until 2025 to climate-friendly projects.

The UAE will also host two seminars in Abu Dhabi focused on the UAE and the Middle East during the summit The meeting is expected to attract delegates from more than 100 countries as well as strategic partners from around the world.

Updated: October 21st 2021, 3:02 PM