Business Hong Kong

Hong Kong should join China-backed int’l bank ‘as soon as possible’ – Financial Sec.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah has said that he would like Hong Kong to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as an independent member “as soon as possible.”

In a blog post published by the financial chief, Tsang said he believed the AIIB and the “One Belt, One Road” strategy would provide opportunities for economic growth in Hong Kong over the coming decades. He said the territory would join the AIIB once applications for new members are opened.

Tsang added that he would also like the AIIB to establish an office in Hong Kong, which he said could help mediate conflicts with the help of Hong Kong’s comprehensive legal services.

John Tsang

John Tsang Chun-wah. Photo: GovHK

Oriental Daily reported on Sunday that Hong Kong is expected to join the AIIB as a full member under the title of “Hong Kong, China” This implies that Hong Kong will acquire the same status as a sovereign state in the institution, including the possession of full voting rights. It also reported that Taiwan will enjoy the same privileges as Hong Kong in the AIIB.

It is also reported that Hong Kong will only have to contribute HK$3 billion to the AIIB, down from an earlier estimate of HK$10 billion. The reduction is driven by the large number of applicants seeking to join the AIIB, thus further dividing the start-up capital each member is responsible for.

According to regulations, each Asian member of the AIIB will share 75 per cent of the institution’s start-up capital. The exact amount that each member state contributes will be based on their respective GDP figures. The bank will have a start-up capital of US$50 billion, and the amount is authorised to eventually reach US$100 billion.

Tsang attended the signing of the AIIB agreement in Beijing last week as a member of the Chinese delegation. The ceremony was attended by delegates from 50 countries. Another seven countries still have to rectify the agreement in their respective legislatures. AIIB is expected to be fully established by the end of 2015.

AIIB signing ceremony

AIIB signing ceremony. Photo: tuxi.com.cn

On Monday, China nominated Jin Liqun to be the first secretary general of the institution. Jin previously served as vice-minister of finance as well as a vice-president of the Japan-led Asian Development Bank.

Correction: Due to a translation issue, a previous version of this article made reference to “Chinese Hong Kong” as opposed to “Hong Kong, China”.

Hong Kong should join China-backed int'l bank 'as soon as possible' - Financial Sec.