Australian government officially announced on Wednesday that the country will become a founding member of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a contribution of 930 million AU dollars (718 million U.S. dollars) as paid-in capital to the bank.
In a joint statement, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Julie Bishop and Treasurer Joe Hockey said the decision to join the AIIB comes after "extensive discussions between the government, China and other key partners around the world".
Australia will be the sixth largest shareholder, said the statement.
The AIIB will have paid-in capital of 20 billion U.S. dollars with total authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars.
The statement noted that there is an estimated infrastructure financing gap of around 8 trillion U.S. dollars in the Asian region over the current decade. "The AIIB will be part of the solution to closing this gap," it said.
The two ministers said in the statement that joining the AIIB presents Australia with great opportunities to work with Australia 's neighbors and with its largest trading partner, China, to drive economic growth and jobs.
They noted that the AIIB will work closely with the private sector, paving the way for Australian businesses to take advantage of the growth in infrastructure in the region.
As for the governance of the AIIB, the statement said it will be based on best practice, ensuring that all members will be directly involved in the direction and decision making of the bank in an open and transparent manner.
"We look forward to working with other members to lay the foundations for an effective new multilateral institution which is expected to be operational by the end of the year," the statement said.
Treasurer Joe Hocky will attend the AIIB's Articles of Agreement signing ceremony in Beijing on Monday June 29.