Australia to be sixth-biggest shareholder in AIIB

Australia to be sixth-biggest shareholder in AIIB

SYDNEY - Reuters
Australia to be sixth-biggest shareholder in AIIB

China's President Xi Jinping (front C) guides guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this October 24, 2014 file photo. Reuters Photo

The Australian government on June 24 said it would contribute A$930 million ($718.9 million) over five years to the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), making it the  institution's sixth largest shareholder. 

A total of 57 countries, including Britain, France and Iran, have joined the $100 billion lender, which is seen as a rival to the Western-dominated World Bank. 

It was launched in Beijing last year to support investment in Asia in transport, energy, telecommunications and other infrastructure. 

"Joining the AIIB presents Australia with great opportunities to work with our neighbours and largest trading partner to drive economic growth and jobs," a statement from Australia's Treasury and Foreign Affairs departments said. 

"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." 

Treasurer Joe Hockey will attend the Articles of Agreement signing ceremony in Beijing on June 29, the statement said.