Malta Officially Becomes Founding Member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


Earlier this year, Malta was set to become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, after the Chinese Ministry of Finance had accepted Malta’s application. The aim of the AIIB is to provide access to funds to developing Asian countries in order to support existing infrastructures and carry out new projects.

Malta has officially signed the agreement to be an AIIB founding member at the inauguration ceremony held in the Grand Hall of the People in Beijing, China, represented by the Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna. Malta is one of 57 governments who expressed interest in being AIIB founding members.

The bank is to be set up by a total of US$100 billion in capital and each member is to receive voting shares according to the size of its contribution towards this initiative. Beijing holds the largest percentage of votes at 26%, followed by India at 7.5% and Russia at 5.9%. Despite holding the largest voting share, Beijing has no power of veto.

Despite receiving widespread support from all over the world, the United States and Japan opposed the AIIB proposal and will not be amongst the founding members, due to a general perception that the AIIB may be China’s attempt to overcome the current leaders in financial regulation, being the USA and Europe.

The Chinese vice finance minister Shi Yaobin stated that China is not looking for veto power. China’s president Xi Jinbing, during a meeting with foreign envoys stated that the AIIB was set up for the sake of Asia’s development and increased regional connectivity.

Countries such as the UK, New Zealand, France and South Korea expressed their strong support towards the AIIB. Out of the 57 governments that showed interest in being founding members, 7 countries have not signed the agreement yet and will take more time to come up with their final decision. These countries include the Philippines, Thailand and South Africa and they have until December to communicate their final position.

According to the structure of the Bank, it will be led by a president who is appointed for a term of five years that can be extended once for a consecutive five years. The working language will be English.