Sunday

18th Nov 2018

Focus

France and Germany to join UK on Chinese-led investment bank

  • France and Germany will join the UK as founder members of the Chinese-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (Photo: Trey Ratcliff)

Three more EU countries have confirmed their intention to join the Chinese-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in a snub to the United States.

French and German government officials confirmed their plans to apply for membership of the bank on Tuesday (17 March). Italy has indicated that it will also join.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The bank, which currently has $100 billion (€95 billion) of registered capital but is likely to see its coffers boosted by its new potential members, was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping last autumn, backed by 21 countries including China, India and Singapore.

The news means that the EU’s four largest member states will all be members of the bank, after the UK became the first European country to break ranks and state its intention to become a founder member of the AIIB last week.

It is also a snub to the United States, which has expressed reservations about the bank’s standards on governance and social and environmental safeguards, although analysts believe that Washington’s misgivings are more to do with fears that the AIIB could challenge the Western-dominated World Bank in the region.

"We want to contribute our long-standing experience with international financial institutions to the creation of the new bank by setting high standards and helping the bank to get a high international reputation,” said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in a statement on Tuesday.

The AIIB will provide finance for infrastructure projects across Asia, in a bid to boost investment in transport, energy, telecommunication, agriculture and urban development infrastructure.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva welcomed the move and denied that the AIIB’s success would detract from the Commission’s own €315 billion infrastructure investment programme which is set to begin distributing funds in the summer.

“Underinvestment in infrastructure is a global challenge,” she said, adding that “in Asia, as in Europe, there are extensive needs for investment ….. increased investment in Asia’s infrastructure is highly welcome and is also a business opportunity for EU companies.”

The EU has opened talks with the Chinese government about a possible trade and investment pact between the two blocs. Their government’s membership of the AIIB should make it easier for European firms to operate in China.

Stakeholder

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union looks into the year 2015 as China and the EU celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Analysis

Why Chinese investment is soaring in Europe

Today, it is the EU – not the US – that is Beijing’s most important technology partner. As the euro weakens, Chinese investments in Europe will increase.

Opinion

Time to gear up European climate diplomacy in Beijing

The launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank heralds a new era of cross-continental financing for future energy markets, but a push for gas and failures to abide by good governance could doom the potential for a better tomorrow.

EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo

A long-standing cooperation between the EU and China on carbon capture and storage has fallen off the political agenda – with the European Commission not having any comment available when asked for an update.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Stakeholder

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

Some 60 years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels. Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding imports, will open in Shanghai, China.

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us