A launch ceremony was recently held in Beijing for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was established by China to meet the growing demand for infrastructure building across Asia. The finance ministers of 21 countries, including all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, attended the ceremony and have since signed a fundamental memorandum of understanding to establish the bank.

According to estimates by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia will require infrastructure investment of over $8 trillion by 2020. The question, however, is whether the ADB will be able to lend $10 billion per year. The ADB's parent bank is the World Bank, whose largest contributing member is the United States. But there is no indication that the U.S. Congress will respond by increasing capital investment in the World Bank.

In particular, the Modi administration in India has made infrastructure building a cornerstone of its national strategy. In India's case, no amount of investment in infrastructure can possibly suffice. India's membership in the AIIB is testament to this enormous need.