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Italy confirms plan to join China-led bank

In a statement, the ministry said that Italy, France and Germany would becoming prospective founding members of the $50 billion institution, seen as a rival to the World Bank.

The announcement followed a report in the Financial Times late on Monday.

“The AIIB, as a new investment bank working in partnership with existing multilateral investment/development banks, could play an important role to provide funds for addressing the large infrastructure needs in Asia,” the statement said.

“The AIIB will thus promote economic and social development in the region and contribute to global growth.”

Shrugging off concerns from the US, the statement added that the three European countries were keen “to work with the AIIB founding members to establish an institution that follows the best standards and practices in terms of governance, safeguards, debt and procurement policies.”

The decision by the three EU states came a week after Britain announced it would join the bank, which was launched last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The bank is seen as being part of China’s plans to widen its international influence.

The UK’s Finance Minister George Osborne said the move would give British firms the best opportunities to invest and work in the world’s fastest growing markets as parts of the country’s long-term economic plan.

Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has confirmed the country’s intention to become a member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), despite pressure from the US on its western allies not to join.

 

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