Philippines to join new development bank
Manila: The Philippines will join a China-led financial institution aimed at supporting infrastructure projects in Asia and the Pacific, despite its territorial dispute with Beijing, the government said on Wednesday.
President Benigno Aquino gave the Department of Finance the authority to sign the membership agreement for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) before the deadline on Thursday.
“AIIB is a promising institution addressing investment needs, and will help close financing gaps in many countries,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.
The Philippines will be the last among 57 prospective founding members to sign the agreement, which entered into force on December 25.
Under the agreement, the Philippines must contribute $196 million, payable in five years, as paid-in capital. The Beijing-headquartered AIIB’s total capital stock is $100 billion.
Purisima said the Philippines hopes to boost its technical expertise in infrastructure, expand related industries and get more job and business opportunities as a founding member of the bank.
“The AIIB is a promising institution addressing investment needs, and will help close financing gaps in many countries,” he added.
The Philippines has been locked in a row with China over disputed territories in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims nearly entirely.
Manila filed an arbitration case questioning China’s claim before a United Nations tribunal, which ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case, but Beijing has refused to participate in the proceedings.
Apart from China and the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam also have overlapping claims to the South China Sea, a key shipping lane believed to be rich in mineral and marine resources. — dpa