Canada to apply to join China-backed AIIB, says bank's president

Flags of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) (right) and member states are set up for the opening ceremony of the first annual meeting of AIIB in Beijing on June 25, 2016.
Flags of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) (right) and member states are set up for the opening ceremony of the first annual meeting of AIIB in Beijing on June 25, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters/AFP) - Canada will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the bank's president Jin Liqun said on Wednesday (Aug 31) in a statement issued ahead of a news conference.

"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."

Canada will submit its application to join the AIIB by the end of 2016, said Mr David Lauzon, a Canadian Finance Ministry official.

Canada's joining will be a coup for Beijing after Washington previously tried to dissuade its allies from signing up.