The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has set up its first overseas office at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

A first of its kind outside the AIIB headquarters in China, the operational office will serve as a strategic destination in the Middle East and the world. It marks a milestone in the partnership between the UAE and the bank.

“It also aligns with the bank’s objectives and ambition to extend its operations and development initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa region. This will add momentum to sustainable economic development in developing nations,” said Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

Established in January 2016, AIIB has 106 members and has so far funded 232 development projects with a total value of AED163.12 billion. The bank provides funding to sustainable infrastructure projects that drive social and economic growth.

The UAE joined as a founding and permanent member of AIIB in 2015. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has been designated to represent the UAE in the bank, and to participate in its meetings.

Al Suwaidi, who officially opened AIIB’s new office along with the bank’s representatives, said that by attracting global investments, the UAE helps drive sustainable development aligning with the objectives of AIIB.

The establishment of the AIIB office in Abu Dhabi also reinforces the bank’s commitment to strengthen regional partnerships, promote sustainable development and support infrastructure projects for its members, according to Luky Eko Wuryanto, Vice President and Chief Administration Officer at AIIB.

“The UAE is an excellent choice for our first overseas venture. I am confident this new hub will advance our efforts to enhance sustainable development throughout the region and elsewhere.”

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha)