Despite fears that AIIB would undermine World Bank, seen as another development partner

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, November 28, 2016) – The World Bank’s director for the Pacific has said he would welcome working with China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on projects in the region.


The bank was recently launched by China with 57 foundation member countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Beijing hopes it will become a global institution to rival the World Bank.

Washington has balked at its creation, and one of its main objections has been a concern that it would seek to undermine the authority of the World Bank, which was established by the United States at the end of World War II.

But the head of the World Bank’s Pacific division, Michel Kerf, said having another development partner in the region would be a positive thing.

Mr Kerf said the AIIB had already told the World Bank it would be interested in co-financing projects, and he anticipated a strong partnership between the banks in the future.

However, he said he did not think the AIIB would have much of a focus in the Pacific region in the immediate future given its main focus was on large infrastructure projects.

“But who knows, that could change in the future and if that were the case I think it would be very welcome. Again the needs [in the Pacific] are extremely big,” he said. [/restrict]