Beijing, Aug 31 (IANS) Canada has decided to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Wednesday.
If Canada joins the AIIB, it will be the first North American member of the multilateral bank, Xinhua news agency reported.
Canada’s membership will contribute significantly to the bank’s development, AIIB President Jin Liqun said, adding that all countries interested in the AIIB were welcome to apply for membership.
“The decision of Canada to join AIIB is very welcome and shows its confidence in the strong foundations the bank has built in our first few months,” Jin said.
Canada’s Department of Finance said the AIIB will help sustain growth in Asia and represents an opportunity to further engage in multilateral infrastructure efforts that support inclusive economic growth in Asia and beyond.
The AIIB, a not-for-profit bank initiated by China, was officially established last December and started operating in January.
With authorised capital of $100 billion and 57 founding members, it prioritises investment in energy, power, transport, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics.
China is Canada’s second largest trading partner. The trade between the two countries amounted to over $67 billion last year, a 10.1 per cent increase year-on-year, according to Canadian statistics.