World Economy

Spain, S. Korea, Austria Join AIIB

Spain, S. Korea, Austria  Join AIIBSpain, S. Korea, Austria  Join AIIB

Spain, South Korea and Austria have become founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Chinese Finance Ministry said Saturday.

“With the agreement of the current founding members on April 11 Spain, the Republic of Korea and Austria officially became founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” the ministry said in a statement on its website, Sputnik reported.

Media reports suggest that 52 countries have made submissions to become founding members of the bank, including Russia.

According to the Chinese Finance Ministry, at the moment the number of founding members has reached 41 countries. The United States and Japan have refrained from joining the bank.

According to the AIIB website, the bank is expected to be fully established by the end of 2015. As of April 9, there were 37 Prospective Founding Members.

US Welcome

China is keeping the door open for the US to join its new development bank “anytime,” the lender’s chief said, after the Obama administration failed to persuade most allies to snub the lender, Bloomberg reported.

The US is “welcome to the kitchen to work with us,” Jin Liqun, secretary general of the secretariat for establishing the bank, told reporters in Singapore on Saturday. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s founding membership will probably be ‘‘short of 60,” he said.

“China itself has benefited enormously from contributions by the World Bank” and Asian Development Bank, Jin said at a forum in Singapore. “Now it’s time for China to contribute more to this region, and hopefully China’s contributions will spill over to other regions.”