Tonga Seeks To Join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Joins Fiji, Samoa as prospective members of China-based AIIB 

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 12, 2017) – Tonga became a prospective member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) last in June.

According to an AIIB website, Tonga was one of the three new prospective members approved by the Board of Governors of the AIIB on 16 June.

The other two prospective members are Argentina and Madagascar. With these three new countries, the bank has 80 members, 56 full members and 24 prospective members.

Major world economies that are not members of the AIIB are the USA and Japan. From the Pacific Region, Australia and New Zealand are full members, while Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are still prospective members.

Prospective members officially become members of the AIIF once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first instalment of capital with the bank.

“The shares allocated to the new prospective members come from the bank’s existing pool of unallocated shares,” it stated.

The bank has a capital of USD$100 billion, equivalent to two thirds of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.

Tonga is a full member of the Asian Development Bank, and most of Tonga Government’s loans for infrastructure developments have been from either the Asian Development Bank or the World Bank.

The AIIB was proposed by China in 2013, then it was launched in Beijing on October 2014, and started operating on 25 December 2015.

The bank has publicised Tonga becoming a Prospective Member of AIIB. Unfortunately, Matangi Tonga could not get an official comment from the Ministry of Finance over the significance of the decision for Tonga to join the bank.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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