Turkey has been approved as a founding member of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), China’s finance ministry announced on it’s official web site on Friday, as the establishment process continues.
Including Turkey, more than 50 countries have applied for membership of the bank, according to the ministry’s statement. The number of confirmed founding members of the Asian investment bank stands at 38 countries so far.
China is expected to announce all founding members by on April 15.
Multinational lenders, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Asian Development Bank have all welcomed the creation of the AIIB and accepted to work with it. However, the United States and Japan have not sought to join the bank, claiming China is lacking in transparency and could use the funds corruptly or to further its own interests.
On the other hand, strong U.S. allies, including Britain, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia are among the currently declared founding members of the AIIB, as well as Israel.
China’s economy has been rapidly growing for almost the last three decades, passing Japan in the second half of 2014 to become the world’s second-largest economy behind only the United States.
The U.S. has been the leading global economic power since the last century, but now its status as top dog is being challenge, according to the IMF figures published late 2014, saying the Chinese economy will be worth just under $26.98 trillion in 2019.
The IMF number suggests by that date China’s economy will be 20 percent bigger than that of the U.S., which is forecast to be worth $22.3 trillion by then.
The Asian Infrastructure Bank currently holds $50 billion in initial capital, however - by the end of 2015 - it aims to control more than $100 billion.