MANILA — Committing to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be beneficial for the Philippines to fast track developments in the country.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Alfredo M. Yao told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) the Philippines should join the AIIB, regardless of dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, as there is a need for infrastructure development in the country given its robust economic growth in the last five years.
“The Philippines should have interest in AIIB since the government is in its infrastructure move. This will benefit the country to fast track infrastructure projects,” said Yao.
“Set aside territorial claims. This is about business,” he added.
“PCCI will recommend it to the President,” the PCCI head mentioned.
In October last year, the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Beijing, China on establishing AIIB.
However, on AIIB’s signing of Articles of Agreement on Monday, the Philippines, along with Denmark, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, and Thailand have yet to sign AIIB’s Articles of Agreement.
Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary stated that the Philippines remains keen on AIIB and the Philippine government is prudently studying whether to commit in the regional financial institution.
Meanwhile, United States-based think tank IHS Global Insight noted that the AIIB should be a positive factor for the Philippines to support the country’s long-term economic growth.
“The governance standards for the AIIB are expected to be high and the Philippines will benefit from being amongst the large group of Asian economies that are taking part in this initiative,” IHS Asia-Pacific Chief Economist Rajiv Biswas told PNA in an e-mail.
“Over the long-term the AIIB could become an important source of development finance for Asian developing countries and it would serve the Philippines well to be part of this strategic initiative together with most other Asian nations,” Biswas stressed.