Ireland’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) membership strongly complements its existing bilateral & multilateral development programs, said Michael D’Arcy, Irish Minister of State at the Department of Finance.

He made this remarks while addressing the opening session of a two day Asia Business Summit held thursday here.

“The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s governance standards and performance since its establishment in January 2016 reinforce the view that it can be an effective development actor,” said D’Arcy.

“It has worked very closely with other international financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Asian Development Bank to adopt their best practices in relation to governance, organisational practices and project appraisal,” he said.

AIIB, launched in Beijing in October 2014, is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.

D’Arcy told the delegates to the summit that Ireland has attached importance to the bank as well as the Asia-Pacific region.

“Asia matters, and matters hugely,” he said, adding that the government of Ireland last year published a global development strategy called “Global Ireland” under which Ireland plans to double its global footprint by 2025.

“One of the ranges of measures ‘Global Ireland’ commits to is the expansion of our presence in the Asia-Pacific region,” D’Arcy said.

He disclosed that the Irish government will launch its Asia-Pacific strategy early in the next year to provide a framework to strengthen Ireland’s engagement with the region in the years ahead to enhance its political relationships, deepen its trading ties and raise its visibility there.

According to D’Arcy, developing ties with Asian countries is one of Irish government’s priorities.

About 100 government officials, business leaders and experts from China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, New Zealand, Britain and Ireland attended the opening session of the summit which is organised by the Dublin based AsiaMatters, a think tank aimed to promote the business links between Ireland and Asia.

During the two-day meeting, delegates will discuss over a variety of issues ranging from the impact of the geopolitics on the global economy to the tips for doing business in different countries in Asia.

A ceremony will be held at the end of the second-day meeting during which individuals and companies who have made outstanding contributions in promoting the business ties between Ireland and Asia will be awarded with trophies.