The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) wowed the world last week when a US ally, Canada, announced on Wednesday that it would join the new international bank.
“Succeeding in the global economy of tomorrow will require a strategic partnership and openness to the world, and that’s why we’re forging new ties with international partners,” Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement on the Canadian government’s website.
AIIB President Jin Liqun welcomed Canada’s decision, saying that the timing ahead of G20 summit is a vote of confidence in the new bank, according to a CCTV report on Saturday.
from The Global Times:
The AIIB has 57 founding member countries, the majority of which are located in Asia and Western Europe, including China, South Korea, the UK, Germany and France.
The bank started accepting applications for new members this year. The application window will remain open until the end of September.
Jin said more than 20 countries have filed applications, and there has been a surge in applicants from outside of Asia, including major powers in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America, according to the report.
If the AIIB was to approve these applications, its roster would expand to more than 80 countries, exceeding the membership of the Japan- and US-led Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has 67 members.
Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the framework for the AIIB two years ago, and the bank began operating in January, with $100 billion committed capital to invest in infrastructure projects across Asia.
China contributed $29.78 billion of the bank’s starting capital and is the largest shareholder, with 26.06 percent of the voting rights.
The AIIB held the first annual meeting of its 57 founding shareholders on June 25. On that day, the bank approved its first batch of loans, worth $509 million, which went to fund four projects, including construction of a highway in Pakistan and upgrading a part of the power grid in Bangladesh.
The bank also plans to invest $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in infrastructure construction this year, and the amount is expected to increase to $2.6 billion to $3 billion in 2017, the report said.