S. Korea may announce entry to AIIB (China Daily)

China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (C) signs a document, with the guests of the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 24, 2014. [Photo / Agencies]
South Korea reportedly plans to officially announce its decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) soon.
The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan are likely to discuss the AIIB issue in a scheduled three-way meeting in Seoul later this week, according to Korean Herald.
The South Korea side decided to join the bank as one of the founding members before the deadline ends in late March, reported Xinhua news agency citing local newspaper Donga Ilbo on Thursday.
Officials from the ministries in charge of the AIIB entry affairs, including the finance and foreign ministries, are set to discuss entry conditions before making an official announcement supposedly next week, said Xinhua.
The AIIB is expected to provide a significant support for developing North Korea (DPRK)’s infrastructure during its potential opening and reform, said Lee Moon-gi, professor of Chinese commerce and trade at Sejong University, to Xinhua, adding that South Korea would want to take part in such projects.
Ahn Jong-beom, South Korean senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, dismissed confirmation on joining the AIIB at a press briefing on Wednesday, saying that nothing has been decided yet “at the current stage.”
China has called on all interested countries to make their decisions before the deadline on March 31. Luxembourg announced on Wednesday its intention to join the bank after the UK, Germany, France and Italy confirmed their participation.
Timeline:
Oct 2, 2013 – Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to set up an Asian investment bank to help fund infrastructure projects as he visited the Southeast Asian region.
April 10, 2014 – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced at Boao Forum that China was ready to “intensify consultations with relevant parties in and outside Asia on the preparations for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).”
Jin Liqun, former chairman of investment bank China International Capital Corp and vice-president of the Asian Development Bank, appointed as secretary-general of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat for Establishing the AIIB.
Oct 24, 2014 – Representatives from 21 Asian nations signed an agreement to establish the AIIB, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Nov 24, 2014 – Indonesia signed up as the last ASEAN country to join the AIIB. The establishment of the bank aims at spurring investment in Asian energy, transportation, telecommunications and other infrastructures.
Jan, 2015 – The number of AIIB founding members rose to 26, after New Zealand, Maldives, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan officially joined.
Mar 12, 2015 – China received confirmation from the UK that it was applying to join the AIIB as a founding member. The UK became the first of the G7 leading economies to join the bank.
Mar 17, 2015 – France, Germany and Italy agreed to sign up to the AIIB.
Mar 18, 2015 – Luxembourg confirmed its intention to join the AIIB as a founding member.
Later 2015- The AIIB is expected to finalize its lending and shareholding agreement and be formally launched by the end of the year.
Xinhua contributed to the story.