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China-backed development bank AIIB appoints veteran European as first chief economist

FILE PHOTO: The sign of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is pictured at its headquarters in Beijing, China July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

LONDON (Reuters) - The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) appointed veteran Swedish economist Erik Berglof as its first chief economist on Tuesday.

Berglof joins the Beijing-headquartered multilateral lender from the London School of Economics, having also been chief economist of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development between 2006 to 2015.

During his EBRD tenure Berglof helped create the Vienna Initiative, a European crisis response credited with mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis in central and eastern Europe.

The AIIB began operations in 2016 and has so far spent $20 billion worth on projects. It has 103 governments as shareholders though unlike most of the world’s other big development banks that doesn’t include the United States, or Asia’s second-largest economy Japan.

The AIIB’s recently re-elected President Jin Liqun said Berglof’s experience working with international financial institutions would “bring valuable insights” and support its efforts “to promote sustainable social and economic development in Asia and beyond.”

Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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