The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has officially opened its doors to management and administrative-level talents in a raft of positions at the world’s newest multilateral institution.
Officially launching its operations on Christmas day in a somewhat low-key ceremony — with only Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei and the bank’s inaugural president-designate Jin Liqun in attendance — the Beijing-based bank is ramping up its recruitment drive to be able to start disbursing loans and launching projects by the second quarter of this year.
While the first batch of job postings came in November last year — which expired towards the end of December last year — and included executive positions such as director general posts and various vice presidential roles for investment, corporate operations, finance, administration and general counsel, the second batch of openings include sector specialists for operations, environment, social development, finance, procurement, treasury, budget management, human resources, and auditing, among others.
The vacancies are posted on thebank’s website and applications will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 8 — exactly two weeks after its first posting on Christmas day in a seeming attempt to beef up the institution’s talent pool and hit the road at the earliest possible time.
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The bank said it is seeking “professionals with proven experience” in the sector, as well as thematic areas within the development sphere, while reiterating what the AIIB’s Jin used to describe the bank’s operational mandate: to be lean, clean and green with a focus on efficiency, sustainability and transparency.
While specific qualifications vary for the advertised positions, common requirements include a minimum of five to 10 years’ relevant experience and a high-level of educational attainment and expertise — something that could fit the profiles of current or recently engaged staff at established multilaterals including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
The openings are categorized as “in-country” or “global” positions. The former are open to those applicants, regardless of nationality, that are already residing in China, although the bank clarified that in-country positions are still open to global applicants, but noted that such applicants “will not be entitled to allowances provided to those recruited for ‘global’ positions.”
Insiders in China told Devex that while the management positions are inaugural, none of the positions will be on a permanent basis. Indeed, all positions will be contract-based — without confirmation on whether this would remain policy in the long-term — with the first full year being a probation period.
The new recruits are expected to accelerate operational preparedness, with the bank’s first loan and project priority areas including energy and electricity, transportation and communication, rural and agricultural infrastructure, water supply and sewage treatment, environmental protection, and urban development and logistics, among others.
Chen Huan, deputy head of the AIIB preparation working group, previously shared that the first batch of loans totalling $1.5 billion to $2 billion is expected to be approved by midyear, with the annual loan portfolio set to reach between $10 billion and $15 billion in the next five to six years.
A development professional based in China who applied for the communications specialist position in this recruitment window of the Beijing-based financial institution shared in condition of anonymity that one of the reasons working for AIIB is an attractive proposition is its potential to make an innovative change as a newcomer in the development arena.
“I am curious about the organization and really want to see how it builds up from [the] inside,” the source, who is also a Chinese national, told Devex, adding that the door AIIB is opening can hopefully “encourage more Chinese professionals to work in international development and I’d like to witness the beginning of a new era.”
The AIIB staffer hopeful concluded, “once it’s in operations, I hope to see some successful innovations [in] the current development practice.”
Lean Alfred Santos is a Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Prior to joining Devex, he covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics. Lean is based in Manila.
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