New Zealand to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

China's President Xi Jinping (front, centre) guiding guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 24, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
China's President Xi Jinping (front, centre) guiding guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 24, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

WELLINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand is to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to boost ties and trade with the region, the government said on Monday.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully said Asia has been driving global growth and New Zealand would benefit from development in the region that eased bottlenecks and improved living standards.

"This new bank will be a welcome addition to existing institutions and it stands to make a significant contribution to infrastructure in the region," McCully said in a statement.

He said New Zealand had been involved in talks on the AIIB's founding articles of agreement and governance arrangements, and its conditions had been met.

New Zealand would subscribe around NZ$125 million (S$117.10 million) in capital over the next five years.

The AIIB is expected to have initial capital of nearly $100 billion for investment in infrastructure projects, and is expected to start operations by the end of the year.

Around 43 per cent of New Zealand's exports go to Asia region and it buys about 46 per cent of its imports from there.