SYDNEY (dpa) – Australia is in talks with China about membership of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a media report quoting Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday.
China and 20 other Asian nations agreed a week ago to set up the Beijing-based bank to fund much-needed rail, road, power and other projects across the region.
Abbott said the institution was needed and backed Beijing to lead it but said it had to be transparent and run along the lines of the World Bank, The Australian newspaper said.
“We would like to join but it’s got to be a multilateral jurisdiction with the kind of transparency and the kind of governance arrangements that, for argument’s sake, the World Bank has,” Abbott was quoted as saying.
“I imagine Korea and Japan and the United States would also be happy to join and that would mean we would have a maximally funded infrastructure bank here in Asia.”
The United States opposed the formation of the AIIB, with Australian media reporting that US Secretary of State John Kerry had asked Abbott not to take part.
The Asian Development Bank cautiously welcomed the AIIB and said it would consider working with it.
The bank is expected to be formally established by the end of next year with authorised capital of 100 billion dollars.