It appears that countries are lining up to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
By the end of the year, the bank’s membership will grow to nearly 100 countries and regions, making it a truly international financial institution, AIIB President Jin Liqun told 30 editors from major Asian media outlets gathered in Beijing for the annual board meeting of the Asia News Network held at China Daily Tuesday.
The AIIB chief said approximately 30 countries are waiting to join and 20 of them have expressed “firm commitment.” The AIIB is China-led institution aimed at building infrastructure across Asia and seen as a rival to the US-led World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US and Japan are not members, but many countries the US asked not to join became some of the bank’s 57 founding members. On Tuesday, Jin said the bank would soon appoint a Japanese national to serve a senior position at the bank.
The bank will hold its first annual meeting June 25 and 26 in Beijing.
Jin said the bank would soon announce it’s first round of infrastructure projects, which will all be carried out in Asian member countries.
He added that the bank will also expand its funding for projects in non-Asian countries soon, in particular countries with strong economic ties with Asia.
“It is gratifying to see that geographically it covers a broad area,” Jin said, noting that the bank will announce the second and third batches of projects by year’s end.