Number of countries joining China-led bank reaches 57
The list of countries joining the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank continues to grow despite US opposition to the China-led initiative

The list of countries joining the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank continues to grow despite opposition to and absence of the U.S. from the China-led initiative.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Finance, 57 countries have so far been approved as founding members of the bank.

"The founding members of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank now includes 37 countries within Asia and outside it there are 20 more countries, covering Asia, Oceania, Europe, Latin America, Africa and other continents," China's Deputy Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said in a statement online Wednesday.

The founding members include four United Nations Security Council permanent representatives, including China, Russia, the U.K. and France; 14 EU countries have also joined.

Sweden, Israel, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Portugal and Poland are the latest seven countries who met the April 15 deadline to join as founding members.

Yaobin said that although the applications for founding members had ended, the bank could still take new members in the future.

The bank’s founding members are expected to meet at the end of April in Beijing and the end of May in Singapore. It is expected that the bank’s draft constitution will be signed by the end of June.

As more and more countries join the bank, the U.S. absence becomes more pronounced. Professor Selcuk Colakoglu, vice president of an Ankara-based think tank, USAK, described the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank as an indicator of China’s weight in the global economy.

"Despite the bank not being welcomed by the world's largest economy, the U.S., the participation of so many Asian, European and Latin American countries is a major diplomatic success for China which wants to have more say in international financial institutions and in the international system," Colakoglu told The Anadolu Agency Wednesday.

Apart from the U.S., the other major country absent from the founding members’ list is Japan.

China has already pledged to provide $50 billion as initial capital for the bank and hopes other founding countries would help increase the capital to $100 billion.

Turkey joined as founding member on April 10. Other prominent members are Saudi Arabia, Australia and Egypt.

In October last year, 21 countries had signed an agreement to establish the bank, which is intended to help fill an estimated $8 trillion gap for development in Asia.

China has repeatedly said the bank will fill the gap in Asia from existing financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The bank's founding members so far include Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal , Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

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Last Modified: 2015-04-16 11:04:58
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