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アジア投資銀 過剰な中国主導で大丈夫か

The Yomiuri Shimbun
What does China’s plan for a new infrastructure bank portend for Asia?
アジア投資銀 過剰な中国主導で大丈夫か

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international financial organization led by China, will be established in 2015 based on a basic agreement reached recently by 21 nations, including India and nine Southeast Asian nations.
The establishment of the AIIB has been proposed by China to accelerate infrastructure building in Asia.

Demand for investment to build infrastructure, such as railways and roads, in Asia through the end of 2020 will total an estimated $8 trillion, or about ¥860 trillion.

It is true that the existing international financial organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, will face difficulty in shouldering such a huge cost by themselves.

Emerging Asian economies, which want to use infrastructure development as a locomotive for growth, understandably have high expectations for the AIIB.

Japan, however, will not participate in the AIIB because its significance and management policy are not clear. Australia and South Korea are also conspicuously absent.

In July, China also decided to set up a new development bank in collaboration with the other emerging economies in the so-called BRICS grouping, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

China apparently wants to use the AIIB and the BRICS bank to counter Japan, the United States and European countries that lead the International Monetary Fund regime and establish a new order in international financing.

A bank for China’s benefit?

In particular, the AIIB is aimed at providing China’s domestically struggling state-owned enterprises with opportunities to enter the huge market for building infrastructure in Asia. Furthermore, China apparently has a strategy to increase the number of friendly nations by utilizing its foreign currency reserves, now swollen to as much as $4 trillion.

It is also worrisome that China’s influence over the AIIB will likely be overwhelming.

The bank will be headquartered in Beijing and aims to procure $100 billion in capital. The ratio of investment will likely be decided in accordance with the scale of each economy, which will make China a majority stakeholder.

There are nagging concerns that the AIIB will recklessly provide tied loans — such as requiring Chinese companies to win infrastructure contracts — in the guise of an international financial institution and will put priority on development projects that are beneficial to China. If its loan screening becomes lax, it is feared that development projects neglecting environmental and human rights concerns will be encouraged.

A financial support framework that is excessively dependent on China could stall development projects should the Chinese economy stumble.

It is essential for Japan, the United States and other nations to jointly beef up monitoring to see if the AIIB will be operated in a way to contribute to the healthy development of the Asian region.

Nonetheless, we should take heed of the use of China’s ample funds for Asian growth. Japan, the biggest ADB stakeholder, should work to establish a proper complementary relationship between the ADB and AIIB.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 29, 2014)Speech

by kiyoshimat | 2014-10-31 07:31 | 英字新聞

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