China-backed AIIB taps former British minister

Agence France-Presse . Shanghai

The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, viewed by some as a rival to the World Bank, on Friday announced executive appointments including a treasury minister from Britain’s former coalition government.
The bank, which started business in January, is already led by its president Jin Liqun, formerly a Chinese finance official who has also worked at the Asian Development Bank.
Liberal Democrat Sir Danny Alexander was number two at Britain’s Treasury between 2010 and 2015 but lost his seat in parliament at last year’s general election as his party was almost wiped out.
He will be one of five vice presidents for the AIIB, the lender said in a statement, as well as its corporate secretary, a role co-ordinating between the bank’s management and members.
Britain was the first major Western country to announce its intention to join the AIIB.
The United States, and Japan — the world’s largest and third-largest economies, respectively — have notably declined to join the bank.
‘I will relish the challenge of being part of this new institution as it establishes itself as a crucial part of the multilateral landscape, supporting growth, tackling climate change and helping drive up living standards in Asia,’ Alexander said in a separate statement issued by his former ministry.
Britain has also secured one of the 12 seats on the AIIB’s board of directors and will lead a constituency of members from Europe, the statement said.
The other vice presidents named Friday include a World Bank veteran, the chief of the Korea Development Bank and long-time civil servants from India and Indonesia, the AIIB said.
Joachim von Amsberg, currently vice president for development finance at the World Bank, was appointed to a policy and strategy role.
Kyttack Hong, chairman and chief executive of the Korea Development Bank, will be chief risk officer.
DJ Pandian, who had a 30-year career in the Indian government, was named chief investment officer, with Luky Eko Wuryanto, who served in senior positions in the Indonesian government for two decades, chief administrative officer.

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