CARACAS, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela has been officially approved to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Thursday, which has brought its total approved membership to 70.
President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro told business leaders the approval of the AIIB membership at the opening of the 2017 Venezuela Power Expo, an industrial trade show being held in the capital Caracas.
Membership in the development bank will facilitate access to financing and technical support for public works, said Maduro.
Launched in January 2015 and headquartered in Beijing, AIIB's mission is to improve economic and social development in Asia by investing in high quality, financially viable and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.
The AIIB announced Thursday its board of governors had approved 13 applications to join the bank.
The approved applicants are five regional prospective members -- Afghanistan, Armenia, Fiji, Hong Kong of China and Timor Leste -- and eight non-regional: Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Hungary, Ireland, Peru, the Republic of Sudan and Venezuela.
The 13 prospective members will officially join the bank once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit their first capital. The shares allocated to them come from an existing pool of unallocated shares.