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AIIB can help Singapore cast wider net in sharing development expertise: Experts

31 Mar AIIB can help Singapore cast wider net in sharing development expertise: Experts

SINGAPORE: Experts have said the Republic’s decision to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) can help Singapore cast a wider net in sharing its development expertise. This also means greater opportunities for local firms to participate in infrastructure projects in developing countries.

Dr Xiao Geng, vice president (China) of Fung Global Institute, said: “By becoming a founding member, Singapore will have the chance to shape the rules which will be used for operating this new bank.

“We all know (about) the tremendous amount of infrastructure in Asia, but a lot of private sector investments are simply too risky and too short term. So it is really important to have the governmental multilateral institutions to help … as a way to anchor some of the long-term important infrastructures.”

Experts discussed China’s role in Asia at a forum organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs on Tuesday (Mar 31). They viewed the AIIB as a complement to existing institutions like the World Bank.

The experts said the AIIB is an attractive proposition to finance infrastructure projects across the region, and with it, Singapore has another platform to access emerging markets.

Professor Wang Gungwu, chairman of the East Asian Institute, noted: “People are joining, I think, not for political reasons. They are joining because the idea itself of helping infrastructure and enabling the developing countries to develop is so crucial. And the Chinese model shows it. Then people join in. They want to be part of it all because they also can benefit from it.”

This article on the SIIA’s Future50 (F50) event on 31 March 2015, “China in Asia: The Past, Future, and Singapore’s Responses” appeared on the Channel NewsAsia website on 31 Mar 2015.