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South Korea and Turkey apply to join AIIB

South Korea and Turkey are the latest countries to apply to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).30 Mar 2015

The Republic of Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a statement that: "Much of the Asian region has largely remained on the sidelines of development. Against this backdrop, the AIIB as a regional multilateral development bank (MDB) will effectively channel infrastructure investment into the region to facilitate sustainable growth and social development."

"According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the potential annual infrastructure investment need in Asia until 2020 is estimated to be as much as US$730 billion. The amount of financing available from existing MDBs such as the World Bank and ADB falls considerably short of the required amount," the statement said.

Turkey’s Undersecretariat of Treasury said that the "Republic of Turkey has informed the Interim Secretariat of AIIB regarding her intention to become a member of the AIIB in March 25th, 2015. It is expected to finalise the negotiations to establish the Bank in the end [of] 2015."

Korea and Turkey follow the UK, Germany, France and Italy in applying to join the bank during the final month before the deadline of 31 March. The UK announced its decision to join on 12 March.

Australia's Federal Cabinet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on joining the bank, subject to the structure of the bank and certain conditions being met, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

A total of 37 countries and regions have now applied to be founding members of the China-led bank. The bank now has 27 prospective founding members with the rest waiting for approval, according to Chinese state-sponsored news agency Xinhua.

The AIIB has become a focal point in the struggle between the US and China over who will influence economic and trade rules in Asia. When the UK announced its plans to join the bank, the US told the Financial Times that this was part of a trend of "constant accommodation" to China.

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