Egypt, Norway and Russia have been approved as prospective founding members of China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China’s Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday.
“Egypt, Norway and Russia have been approved by the current founding members to officially become members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” the statement reads.
This brings the number of prospective founders to 50, the ministry said.
Founding members of the AIIB have the right to make the bank’s rules, while countries that applied to join after March 31 will be considered ordinary members with voting rights only and less say in the rule-making process. Founding membership will be finalized on April 15, Xinhua reports.
China has set last March 31 a deadline to become a founding member of the AIIB.
The AIIB will provide financing for roads, railways, airports and other infrastructure projects in Asia. It is expected to be established by the end of this year.
The AIIB is seen as a potential rival to established lenders the World Bank and Asian Investment Bank, which are dominated by the United States and Japan. It has been considered as a significant setback to U.S. efforts to extend its influence in the Asia Pacific region to balance China’s growing financial clout and assertiveness.