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Germany, France, Italy to join China-proposed AIIB, following Britain's lead

Updated: 03 18 , 2015 08:59
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BRUSSELS -- Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday confirmed their respective intentions to join China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The three countries' decision came in the wake of Britain's application last week to be a founding member of the50-billion-U.S.-dollar bank.

Germany is going to be a founding member of the AIIB, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday.

"We want to work with international financial organizations together, use our extensive experience, to help the new bank to reach a high international reputation," he said after the first China-Germany High Level Financial Dialogue held in Berlin.

According to a joint statement of the dialogue, both China and Germany agree that "the AIIB bank as a new investment bank could play an important role to provide funds for infrastructure in Asia."

France has confirmed its intention to become one of the founding members of the AIIB bank, French government spokesman Romain Nadal told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"This new investment bank, which will aim to work in partnership with existing multilateral investment and development banks, can play an important role in financing infrastructure constructions of which Asia has a major need," Nadal said.

The AIIB would not only participate in the economic and social development of the region, but would also contribute to global economic growth, he added, saying France is eager to work together with other prospective founding members of the AIIB to create this institution.

The Italian economy and finance ministry on Tuesday in a statement confirmed that Italy intends to become prospective founding member of the AIIB.

"France, Italy and Germany, in close coordination with international and European partners, are keen to work with the AIIB founding members to establish an institution that follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies," the statement said.

The AIIB, as a new investment bank working in partnership with existing multilateral investment and development banks, could play an important role to provide funds for addressing the large infrastructure needs in Asia, the Italian ministry added.

Commenting on an earlier media report about the three countries' intention to join AIIB, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Tuesday said China welcomes interested parties to join the AIIB,"an open and inclusive multilateral organization."

He said China is ready to work with all sides to make the AIIB a reciprocal and efficient platform.

Meanwhile, Australian leaders have been lining up over the past few days to voice support for joining the AIIB.

With an expected initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars, the AIIB will be an international financial institution to fund infrastructure projects in Asia and is expected to be formally established by the end of this year.

Twenty-one countries including China, India and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing in October last year to build the bank.

Lou Jiwei, China's Minister of Finance, said on March 6 that 27 countries had applied to jointly build the bank as founding members. The application deadline is on March 31.