According to media reports, 25 countries have signed to develop Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with its headquarters in Beijing. At the signing ceremony held in Beijing, the Chinese president rightly said that if any country wished to prosper, it should improve its infrastructure.
Fortunately, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Qatar have already joined the AIIB. The bank will help member countries improve their infrastructure and exploit their natural resources. The AIIB will also provide funds for the construction of dams, power plants and seaports.
If reports are to be believed, China is the driving force behind this bank. Some political observers see the establishment of the AIIB as a natural consequence of the confrontation between Beijing and Washington. They claim that it is China’s attempt to weaken the hold of western financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Asian countries and to expand its influence in the region.
Whatever maybe the political reasons behind the establishment of this bank, I believe this is good news for countries like Pakistan, which is facing severe power crisis. I hope that with the help of the AIIB and China, the developing Asian countries will improve their existing infrastructure and resolve the problems facing their respective citizens. Undoubtedly, the dominance of the World Bank and the IMF has become a major issue for countries like Pakistan, which has to follow their diktats at the expense of their citizens’ welfare. I hope the AIIB succeeds in breaking this vicious circle and diminishing the role of the World Bank and the IMF in Asian countries.
Khawaja Umer Farooq