Speech of President K. V. Kamath at the Ground Breaking Ceremony of the NDB, Shanghai, China
Your Excellency, Minister Xiao Jie, Your Excellency Mayor Ying Yong, invited dignitaries, distinguished guests, and colleagues of the New Development Bank.
It gives me great pleasure to be here on this important day in the history of the NDB. Our shareholders embarked on a journey to establish the NDB five years ago. On that journey, we have now reached an important milestone. Today, we are breaking ground for the permanent headquarters of the Bank.
This momentous occasion has been made possible by the unstinting support of all of our stakeholders. First I offer my sincere thanks to the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Shanghai for their cooperation and partnership with the NDB. Shanghai has been an excellent host to the Bank, its staff, and to me and my family personally. From the day I arrived in Shanghai more than two years ago, I have been enormously impressed with the professionalism of the Shanghai government and the warmth and hospitality extended to us by Shanghai and its citizens. Thank you.
Second, we have been extremely fortunate to receive the strong support of all our shareholders as we work to set up the world’s youngest multilateral development bank.
Thirdly, I would like to thank my colleagues and staff at the NDB, who have come here from all of our member countries and are working hard to help NDB grow rapidly into a significant member of the community of multilateral development banks.
We expect that the permanent headquarters will be occupied by the NDB in about four years’ time. I have had the opportunity to see the designs of the building that will come up at this beautiful location along the Huangpu river. I am certain that NDB’s headquarters will contribute architecturally to further enhancing the skyline of Shanghai. It would be an environmentally friendly building reinforcing Shanghai’s reputation as a city of ecologically conscious buildings. And operationally it would further Shanghai’s status as an international financial center.
We were set up with a mandate to finance infrastructure and sustainable development in our member countries. We began operations in July 2015. Since then, we have laid a foundation in all functional areas. Today we begin work on building a new foundation. The foundation for our permanent home.
As I look ahead, I see enormous opportunities for cross fertilization of knowledge and experience between our member countries across a range of issues in infrastructure and sustainable development. China’s and Shanghai’s experiences and knowledge will contribute enormously to the rest of the world. And there could be useful learnings from other countries for China as well. In these efforts, from our base here in Shanghai, the NDB will do its part. In addition to providing financing, we will facilitate knowledge and experience sharing among our members. Among many contributions that we hope to make to our host city, we look forward to being ambassadors of Shanghai’s urban development experience – a model that has enormous lessons for large cities in many other countries, as we go through the largest wave of urbanization in human history.
Excellencies and friends. I will conclude by sharing my commitment that as we start the process of establishing our permanent headquarters in Shanghai, we will not only work to meet the expectations of our shareholders, but we will also strive to be an integral part of Shanghai, its community, and its culture. We are well aware that we have the privilege of living in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. We will do our part to make a positive contribution to further strengthen its dynamism.
Thank you for hosting us and thank you for allowing us to make this our home. The New Development Bank looks forward to engaging with you in the years ahead.