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A Comparative Guide to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Natalie Lichtenstein


The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) opened for business in 2016, as a $100 billion multilateral development bank (MDB) that finances public and private infrastructure projects for Asia. AIIB’s founders, led by China, span Asia, Europe and the Middle East—now a global footprint. A Comparative Guide to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank examines AIIB through the lens of its Charter, focusing on its mandate, investment operations, membership, finance, governance, and institutional set-up. Separate chapters explain how each element matters for MDBs generally, then analyze the related AIIB text, and compare the provisions and practice of its predecessors. These chapters expound upon the reasons behind AIIB’s legal provisions and offer detailed analyses of the similarities and differences with the Charters of the World Bank and regional MDBs (principally, the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank). Introductory and highlights chapters tell how AIIB was founded and summarize its key features. A chapter on Transitions recounts AIIB’s path from agreement to establishment. Relevant themes from MDB histories are outlined as a guide to AIIB’s future, in a chapter on Reflections. Throughout, text and tables record AIIB’s governance and decisions through December 2017. This book takes apart the AIIB Charter for the general reader and for the specialist—from the perspective of the lawyer who put it together. It’s an inside look at how this new international organization went from concept to reality, and an up-to-date comparative legal guide to MDBs.

Bibliographic Information

Natalie Lichtenstein, author

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