Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s Finance & Economy Minister, has been elected Vice Chair of the Board of the AIIB Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The Bank’s AGM took place this weekend in Luxembourg, the first time it met outside of Asia.
According to the website of the Icelandic government, AIIB is a fast-growing international investment fund opened in 2016, placing emphasis on “open, impartial, and transparent management and clear accountability.” Iceland is one of the Bank’s founding members, along with the other Nordic countries. The Bank was started up with capital amounting to 100 billion US dollars.
AIIB is the first international public institution led by China. It was set up to stimulate cooperation between countries while addressing Asia’s need for more and better infrastructure. According to the Icelandic government website, AIIB aims to “strengthen links and economic development in the region and thereby support economic growth and residents’ access to basic services.”
AIIB has approved investment of 8 billion dollars in 27 countries including a geothermal energy project in Turkey that includes two Icelandic companies.
Bjarni says he will not be paid for his role as AIIB vice-chairman and that no conflict of interest therefore exists.