A total of 57 countries will be founding members of the new Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China’s finance ministry said Wednesday.
Britain surprised some allies last month in deciding to join the AIIB and was quickly followed by Germany, France and Italy.
Among the Group of Seven industrialized countries, the United States, Japan and Canada remain as absentees, Reuters reported.
Washington had cautioned nations about joining the bank, seen as a rival to the US-dominated World Bank, citing what it called a lack of transparency, doubts about lending and environmental safeguards and concerns about Beijing’s influence.
“The AIIB has 57 countries as founding members; among those, 37 are Asian countries, 20 are countries from outside the region,” Shi Yaobin, vice-minister of finance, said in a interview published on the ministry’s website.
Shi said representatives from member countries would meet again at the end of this month and next month to agree upon a draft of an AIIB charter and “sign the charter by the end of June”.
Jin Liqun, secretary-general of China’s interim secretariat, which is establishing the AIIB, said at a forum in Singapore Saturday that although China would have the biggest share in the bank, it would not dominate its operations.
Beijing says it will not hold veto power inside the AIIB. Washington has a limited veto at the World Bank.
China has said a board of governors will control the operations of the new bank.
Founder members will initially pay up to one-fifth of the AIIB’s US$50 billion in authorised capital, which will eventually be raised to US$100 billion.