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In a joint statement Treasurer Joe Hockey and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have announced today that Australia will become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The decision comes after extensive discussion and consultation between the Government, China and regional partners.
Chairman of the Australia China Business Council, and former Victorian Premier, John Brumby welcomed the announcement noting that Australia’s participation in the AIIB helps to cement Australia’s role in the region and offers new opportunities for Australian business.
“Joining the AIIB is an important step for Australia, and highlights Australia’s commitment to regional engagement. Asia faces chronic infrastructure shortage and the AIIB is an important mechanism to help support regional growth. Strong regional growth is good for Australian business and good for the region”, Mr Brumby said.
“The AIIB’s commitment to engage with private enterprise offers exciting opportunities for Australian service, consulting and infrastructure firms. Australian engineering and services firms are world renowned and will be able to leverage this reputation in helping to deliver the AIIB’s infrastructure projects. ”
“As a founding member of the AIIB, Australia will be able to play a key role in discussions on the bank’s structure, governance and oversight provisions within the bank.”
“Following on from last week’s signature of the historic ChAFTA, Australia joining the AIIB as a founding member marks a highpoint in Australia-China business relations”.
As a founding member, Australia will contribute AUD $930million to the bank making it the sixth largest shareholder. The Asia-Pacific region faces an estimated US$8 trillion gap in infrastructure financing, with the AIIB is set to help tackle some of these regional challenges.
The bank is expected to have paid-in capital of $US20 billion and will be in operation by the end of the year. The Treasurer Joe Hockey will attend the formal Articles of Agreement signing to be held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the 29th of June.
Media Enquiries: Ms Martine Letts, National CEO T: + 61 2 9247 0349