Australia to join AIIB while US, Japan rebuff offer

Australia expected to be sixth largest shareholder in China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, however other countries continue to remain skeptical

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Australian government announced on Wednesday that it would contribute A$930 million ($718.9 million) over five years to the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). On the other hand, the United States and Japan have both rejected China’s call to join the bank. 

“Joining the AIIB presents Australia with great opportunities to work with our neighbours and largest trading partner to drive economic growth and jobs," said a statement from Australia's departments of Treasury and Foreign Affairs. 

It will give Australia the opportunity to “take advantage of the growth in infrastructure in the region,” he said. 

According to the statement, the Articles of Agreement signing ceremony will take place in Beijing on June 29 with the attendance of Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Tuesday that his country has “left the door open” for the United States and Japan to join the China led infrastructure bank. However the offer has so far been ignored. 

"At present the two countries have not expressed their willingness or intention to join the AIIB," Lou said.

The AIIB, seen as a rival to the World Bank, was launched in Beijing last year to support investment in infrastructure in Asia and 57 countries are currently participating in the institution. 

TRTWorld and agencies