Ex-finance chief says joining AIIB will boost Philippines infra development
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - December 3, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - While the Philippine government is still weighing whether to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Former Finance Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho thinks that joining in it will help the country boost its infrastructure development.

“For our own interest, we can’t really exclude ourselves,” Camacho, who is the current managing director and vice chairman of Credit Suisse Asia Pacific, said in an interview Wednesday.

The Philippines is regarded as one of the prospective founding members of the China-led AIIB which is seen to rival the US-led World Bank and Japan’s Asian Development Bank.

The Philippine government is still taking the time to study the governance structure of AIIB before finally deciding to join.

Previous reports said the Philippines is among the five remaining countries which have not joined the China infrastructure bank yet. In fact, 52 of the 57 prospective founding members already formally entered the AIIB.

Camacho emphasized that the Philippines needs more resources to fund its infrastructure projects.

“We will still do a lot of infrastructure building in the country so we really need financing,” Camacho said.

“If we can afford, why would we want to be excluded from the available financial resources,” the former finance chief further said.

The Philippines has until the end of this month to decide whether to join the multilateral lender which targets to start bank operations by January 2016.

It was October last year when the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding in establishing the AIIB.

The $50-billion AIIB seeks to fund the growing need for infrastructure development in Asia.

Ties between China and the Philippines have been affected by the territorial dispute at the West Philippine Sea.

In addition, a 2010 study of the Asian Development Bank estimated that Asia needs an $8.223-trillion investment for infrastructure development from 2010 to 2020.

In the Philippines, there have been calls for more infrastructure projects amid the country’s robust economic growth.  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK CAMACHO CHINA AND THE PHILIPPINES CREDIT SUISSE ASIA PACIFIC FORMER FINANCE SECRETARY JOSE ISIDRO CAMACHO IN THE PHILIPPINES INFRASTRUCTURE PHILIPPINES WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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