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S. Korea to launch consultative body for AIIB projects

S. Korea to launch consultative body for AIIB projects

SEJONG: The South Korean government will set up a consultative body comprised of state-run policy lenders and private financial firms to help local firms win more business projects launched by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the finance ministry said Thursday.

Policy lenders including the Korea Development Bank, the Korea Export-Import Bank and the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. will lead the consultative body along with global investment banks and asset management firms.

The participating institutions will jointly conduct due diligence and invest in potential projects based on information collected by the consultative body. “Tapping more into the Asian infrastructure market can offset some negative impacts of a global slowdown stemming from China,” said a finance ministry official.

The finance ministry said South Korean firms are working to win some US$35 billion in Asian development contracts by 2020, up from $15.9 billion in 2014, with their market share rising to 20 percent from 11.8 percent over the cited period.

The government will create a 10 billion won ($8.1 billion) trust fund to help local companies participate in the AIIB projects. The AIIB was formally launched on Jan. 16, with 57 founding members including South Korea, in a bid to promote economic growth in the Asian region by supporting infrastructure investment. South Korea has a 3.81 percent stake, the fifth largest among member countries.