Canada to apply to join China-backed infrastructure bank

Canada will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Ottawa's finance department said Wednesday. "Canada is always looking for ways to create hope and opportunity for our middle class as well as for people around the world," Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement issued in Beijing. "Membership in the AIIB is an opportunity to do just that."

The Beijing-headquartered multilateral lender, which began operations earlier this year, has been seen by some as a rival to the World Bank and the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank, which was founded in 1966. The $100 billion AIIB counts several major European countries among its shareholders after they joined up despite Washington's objections. AIIB president Jin Liqun welcomed Canada's decision, which he said "shows its confidence in the strong foundations the bank has built in our first few months".

The United States, and Japan-the world's largest and third-largest economies, respectively-have notably declined to join the AIIB. Canada's announcement came during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to China, where he met Prime Minister Li Keqiang to try to strengthen ties before the G20 summit this weekend in Hangzhou.

Source: Pakistan Observer