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Mohammed bin Rashid opens 6th Annual Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Board of Governors Meeting

October 27, 2021
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DUBAI, 26th October 2021 (WAM) - His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today opened the sixth Annual Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) Board of Governors Meeting, which is being chaired by the UAE.

Being held virtually under the theme ‘Investing Today, Transforming Tomorrow’ from 26 to 28 October, the Meeting has brought together 103 members as well as the Bank’s strategic partners from around the world.

His Highness delivered the keynote address of the event and welcomed attendees, saying the meeting provides a platform to enhance economic collaboration between nations. 'We welcome you to the UAE which is hosting Expo 2020 Dubai and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the nation’s foundation. We are keen to make this meeting a success and provide all the necessary support to ensure it is able to generate tangible outcomes that benefit people. We wish all attendees the very best for the annual meeting in the UAE,' His Highness said.

The Meeting, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East, focuses on a number of key themes, including investing in the infrastructure for tomorrow such as cross-border connectivity; green financing; resilient healthcare systems; and enhancing the role of global multilateral institutions in supporting projects based on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE’s Governor on the AIIB Board of Governors, said this year’s meeting comes at a historic moment, when the UAE is hosting Expo 2020, and the world is showing increased commitment for taking effective climate action.

Dr. Al Jaber said the UAE, as one of the founding members of the Bank, is proud to support the institution’s strategic objectives. He also said there is clear alignment between the AIIB’s mandate and the UAE’s vision, including the ‘Principles of the 50’ and the ‘UAE Net Zero by 2050’ strategic initiative, and the bank’s strategic goal, announced in 2020, to allocate 50% of its total funding until 2025 to climate-friendly projects.

'It is a Jubilee Year - 50 years have passed since our visionary forefathers came together to form the UAE this is a time of joy and reflection. We are taking stock, with pride, of our achievements and looking forward with confidence and determination to continue building our nation to stand tall in the world. It is the proud mission of the AIIB to help lift nations all over Asia so that they, too, may stand tall in the world,' the minister said.

'Under the leadership of President Jin Liquin, and guided by this Board's Vision, AIIB has made remarkable progress since its foundation in 2015, helping clients achieve environmentally and socially sustainable development objectives. At its core, the AIIB is about sustainable development through smart infrastructure investment and there has never been a more important time for that approach than today as the world looks to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

'It is critical to focus now on the sustainability of infrastructure spending because these are long-term investments that lay the foundations of resilience for future generations.

It also makes business sense. This is also the approach of the United Arab Emirates. And, like the AIIB, the UAE has a clear focus on future generations.'

Dr Al Jaber explained that the UAE announced the 'Principles of the 50' to chart the strategic roadmap for the country's new era of economic, political, and social growth.

'Openness and tolerance are at the heart of these principles and so I want to take the opportunity now to extend an open invitation to all to come and join in the many opportunities we are creating in the UAE. The UAE has set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, and we see this as an unprecedented chance to create new knowledge, new industries, new skills, and new jobs.

The AIIB shares this commitment to sustainability alongside economic growth which is clear from its target to allocate 50 percent of its financing to climate projects by 2025. This is concrete climate action that is an example to the world. The AIIB will also drive progress and prosperity by connecting people and markets, mobilising private capital and improving digital infrastructure,' he added.

Following the opening session, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the UAE’s Alternate Governor on the AIIB Board of Governors, attended a round table discussion at the event, in which he talked about the financing of climate change mitigation projects and the importance of collaboration and dialogue to promote green financing.

On the sidelines of the virtual meeting, the UAE will host two in-person seminars in Abu Dhabi focused on the UAE and the Middle East. The first seminar focuses on 'How innovative financing can bridge the infrastructure spending gap in the Middle East' and will take place on Wednesday, 27 October at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in Mariyah Island. The second seminar will look at 'How the UAE is supporting climate resilient infrastructure across the Middle East' and will take place on Thursday, 28 October at IRENA headquarters in Masdar City.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a multilateral development bank that aims to improve living and economic conditions in Asian countries by supporting infrastructure projects. The Beijing-based bank began operations in January 2016 and currently has 103 members from around the world. By investing in sustainable infrastructure projects and productive sectors in Asia and beyond, the Bank seeks to strengthen communication between people and connect services and markets to build a better future for millions of people around the world.

In 2020, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank announced its strategic ambition to allocate 50% of its total funding until 2025 to climate-friendly projects. As one of the founding members of the AIIB, the UAE is committed to supporting the vision to drive sustainable development through innovation.

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