May 19, 2015 / 3:53 AM / 5 years ago

China-backed AIIB founding members to meet in Singapore this week

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 October 24, 2014. REUTERS/Takaki Yajima/Pool

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Founding members of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will hold a three-day meeting in Singapore this week to discuss operational policies for the establishment of the institution.

The gathering, called the 5th chief negotiators’ meeting, will also discuss the draft articles of agreement for the AIIB in Singapore from Wednesday to Friday, a Singapore Ministry of Finance statement said on Tuesday.

The meeting will be co-chaired by Shi Yaobin, vice minister of China’s Ministry of Finance, and Yee Ping Yi, deputy secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Finance.

A total of 57 countries have joined AIIB as its founding members, China has said, throwing together countries as diverse as Iran, Israel, Britain and Laos.

Among the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries, the United States, Japan and Canada remain absentees.

Washington had cautioned nations about joining the bank, seen as a rival to the U.S.-dominated World Bank, citing what it called a lack of transparency, doubts about lending and environmental safeguards, and concerns over Beijing’s influence.

Beijing says it will not hold veto power inside the AIIB, unlike the World Bank where Washington has a limited veto.

Founder members will initially pay up to one-fifth of the AIIB’S $50 billion authorised capital, which will eventually be raised to $100 billion.

Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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