China-backed AIIB to boost membership to 100 countries by year-end

AIIB President Jin Liqun says many countries are waiting in line to join the new international financial institution.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will boost its membership to nearly 100 countries by the end of this year, its president has said.

AIIB President Jin Liqun said many countries are waiting in line to join the international financial institution and many more have shown interest. He said this will help make AIIB a truly global institution with the mission of promoting multilateral benefits for all its members.

"Up to 30 countries are waiting to join the AIIB and about 20 of them have expressed 'firm commitment'," Jin said, according to the Jakarta Post.

Jin's comments came well ahead of the bank's first annual meeting to be held on June 25 and 26 in Beijing. Governors and representatives from the bank's 57 founding members are expected to attend the meeting.

The United States and Japan have declined to join the AIIB. However, Jin said the door has been open and will remain open, for any country.

The AIIB chief said the bank will deliver the first lot of infrastructure projects to be carried out in member countries. Soon the bank will also expand its funding for projects in non-Asian countries particularly the countries with strong economic ties with Asia.

"It is gratifying to see that geographically it covers a broad area," he said. Jin also noted that the bank will announce the next two batches of the projects by the end of the year.

The bank has been recruiting top talent globally for its expansion. Jin said the bank will appoint a Japanese national to a senior position at the bank soon.

Jin stressed on the inclusive nature of the bank and said that the bank should be a platform for both cooperation and coordination for all its players in the international economic field. It should not be working only as a financial instrument for infrastructure projects.