AIIB adds 13 members including Hong Kong, Canada

The Beijing-led multilateral, now backed by 70 members from across the world, lent $1.7bn in its first year of operation.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved 13 applicants as new members of the bank, bringing its total approved membership to 70.

The new members include five regional prospective members – Afghanistan, Armenia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Timor Leste – and eight non-regional prospective members, featuring Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Hungary, Ireland, Peru, the Republic of Sudan and Venezuela. 

They will officially join the Beijing-led multilateral once they complete the required domestic approval processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank, the AIIB said. 

Hong Kong will subscribe 7,651 shares of the capital stock of the bank. Among them, 1,530 will be paid in shares, amounting to HK$1.2 billion ($154 million; €143 million) to be disbursed over five years, and 6,121 will be callable shares, according to the city’s government. 

The amounts of shares other members plan to subscribe were not disclosed. The AIIB had not responded to queries by press time. 

With a total capital of $100 billion, the AIIB, as well as the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, was one of the initiatives proposed by the Chinese government to advance its “One Belt One Road” strategy. The multilateral bank officially opened for business in early 2016 and has since approved over $1.7 billion in financings for nine infrastructure projects throughout Asia. That exceeded its original lending target of $1.2 billion for 2016. 

The bank is now assessing 11 proposed projects across the urban development, energy and transport sectors.