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How China-led banks could help plug Asia’s infrastructure gap

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Silk Road Fund are all international initiatives spearheaded by China over the past months that symbolize Beijing’s growing influence in providing development funding and potential new sources of financing for developing countries.

While the initiatives have been criticized by some as a way for Beijing to challenge Western-backed institutions such as the World Bank or Asian Development Bank – viewed by some as dominated by Washington and Tokyo – there are others who believe these new development banks may have a positive impact on emerging economies.

In fact, more than 40 countries have already announced their intention to join the AIIB – set to be launched by the end of 2015 – as founding members, including some of Europe’s largest economies, with the US and Japan being notable absentees.