Delegates attend the signing ceremony for the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 29, 2015. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: The UAE signed the Articles of Agreement (AOA) establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing on Monday, and became a founding member of the international financial institution.

With this, the UAE joins 57 other nations that have already become founding members in the Beijing based institution. China on Monday officially launched the AIIB, marking Beijing’s most ambitious foray into financial diplomacy and global economic governance. President Xi Jinping, who greeted representatives from the bank’s 57 founding-member countries, first proposed the AIIB less than two years ago but the idea garnered quick support.

The AOA was signed on behalf of the UAE by Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), carrying out the Fund’s mandate to represent the country as a founding member of AIIB. Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State who led the discussions said the signing of the AOA, said establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a historic moment for the UAE.

“It articulates the vision of our wise leadership and the importance they attach to supporting infrastructure development projects. This agreement is crucial in paving the way for accelerating economic development across Asia. In addition to enhancing the country’s role within the global economy, the UAE’s affiliation to the institution as a founding member will support the country’s growing interests in Asia.”

The proposal to set up AIIB was initiated with the aim of establishing a new platform to promote regional and international cooperation in infrastructure development across Asia with a focus on energy, power, transportation, telecommunications, rural infrastructure, agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection, urban development and logistics, among others.

— With inputs from Financial Times