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Interview with president of Korea Institute for International Economic Policy Updated: 2017-06-18 09:06:09 KST

The AIIB -- only 18 months old -- boasts a rapidly expanding membership, currently standing at 80 countries.
This is largely thanks to the growing demand and interest in developing infrastructure in Asia and because of the way it stands out from other multilateral development banks, by focusing solely on infrastructure.
As the first host country of the AIIB meeting to be held outside of its founding country China, hopes are high for more active participation from Korea -- the bank's fifth largest shareholder.

"For Korean companies, the AIIB provides the opportunity to participate in vast infrastructure projects.
For example, K-Water, they got a contract in a Georgia, financed by the AIIB. About Jeju, as we have discussed the theme is sustainable infrastructure. Jeju is clean, it's a symbol of renewable energy. So in that sense, member governments' participation in this meeting can share information with Jeju."

The AIIB has been making efforts to expand and provide financing solutions for developing countries in Asia and beyond with the help of the private sector to mobilize capital and supplement its resources. How can Korea contribute?

"Korea has long experience in PPP -- public, private partnership projects. For instance Incheon Bridge is financed by PPP scheme, and the railroad to Incheon Airport is also PPP-based. With this experience, we can help AIIB member countries in designing PPP, or evaluating PPP programs or implementing PPP projects."

Many here in Korea have hoped that hosting this event will help boost ties between Seoul and Beijing that have recently been strained due to the deployment of THAAD. How can Korea and China can enhance economic cooperation?

"THAAD is a complicated diplomatic issue involving China, the U.S. and also linked to North Korea's nuclear problems. It will take time and concerted efforts to solve this issue.
But this Jeju event provides a small clue into the direction. For example, Deputy PM Kim Dong-yeon met with Chinese Finance Minister Xiao Jie for about an hour -- it is almost a year since Korea and China ministers met officially. In July, in Germany, President Moon Jae-in will meet with President Xi Jinping during the occasion of the G20 meeting. As far as the economy is concerned, both governments should try to expand economic cooperation. In fact, this year, bilateral trade has increased by more than 10 percent.
The project like, one belt one road, I think there is plenty of room for Korean companies and Chinese companies can incorporate into those projects."

Thank you for your insights.
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