BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The prospective founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) finalized at 57 on Wednesday after seven more countries were approved, China's Ministry of Finance said.
Sweden, Israel, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Portugal and Poland were newly included as founding members on Wednesday.
Though the deadline for founding membership application has past, the bank will continue to accept new members, as the AIIB is an open and inclusive multilateral development bank, China's Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said.
The 57 prospective founding members cover five continents, including Asia, Oceania, Europe, Latin America and Africa, Shi said.
Founding members of the AIIB have the right to help define the bank's rules, while countries that applied to join after March 31 will be considered ordinary members with voting rights but less say in the rule-making process.
The AIIB will provide financing for roads, railways, airports and other infrastructure projects in Asia. It is expected to be established by the end of this year.