New Zealand has agreed to become a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and will invest NZ$125 million (US$87.2 million) in capital over five years, the government announced Monday.
The AIIB, aimed at addressing the infrastructure gap in Asia, will have initial capital of close to US$100 billion (NZ$139 billion) and New Zealand’s contribution is proportionate to its economic size.
“Increased infrastructure investment will enhance the Asian region’s growth and that will be good for New Zealand,” Finance Minister Bill English said in a joint statement with Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
“This new bank will be a welcome addition to existing institutions and it stands to make a significant contribution to infrastructure in the region,” he said.
The formal signing ceremony will take place in Beijing later in the month and the AIIB is expected to begin operating before the end of the year, according to McCully.