While the argument that “S’pore should be AIIB’s regional headquarters” (April 11) has merit, it should be up to the planners and the final list of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank participants and shareholders to decide on the bank’s headquarters.
First the writer arrogant implies that the AIIB’s headquarters should be in a country with pristine financial excellence. He fails to note that other regional development banks, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the African Development Bank, are headquartered in less developed cities such as Manila and Abidjan, yet have a pretty successful development record.
Second, the writer cites Beijing’s poor environmental record for why Singapore should also host the AIIB. That is an unqualified and against arrogant argument almost suggesting that polluted cities should not be centres for development banks. Manila is not exactly a lean, non-polluted city, but that did not stop the ADB from being hosted there. New York isn’t exactly a clean city in many areas, yet it hosts the main United Nations Headquarters!
China, the proponent of the AIIB, will most likely be the strongest shareholder. In my view, the AIIB should not be in a city that of a dominant superpower, or it will risk becoming another International Bank for Re-construction and development (IBRD), or even a International Development Association (IDA). Time will tell though.