The number of prospective founding members of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was finalised at 57 on Wednesday after the names of seven more countries were approved, the Chinese finance ministry said.
Sweden, Israel, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Portugal and Poland were included as founding members on Wednesday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Though the deadline for founding membership application was past, the bank would continue to accept new members, as the AIIB was an open and inclusive multilateral development bank, China’s Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said.
The 57 prospective founding members covered five continents, including Asia, Oceania, Europe, Latin America and Africa, Shi said.
Founding members of the AIIB have the right to help define the bank’s rules, while countries that applied to join after March 31 will be considered ordinary members with voting rights, but with a lesser say in the rule-making process.
With an expected initial subscribed capital of $50 billion, the AIIB will provide financing for roads, railways, airports and other infrastructure projects in Asia. It is expected to be established by the end of this year.
Twenty-one countries, including China, India and Singapore, signed a memorandum of understanding to found the bank in Beijing in October.