BEIJING, April 7 (UPI) -- Iran and United Arab Emirates joined a group of more than 30 countries as founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China's Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday.
The China-backed bank is expected to be fully established by the end of 2015, aiming to financially support infrastructure projects throughout Asian countries.
With the addition of Iran and UAE, the AIIB now has a total of 35 founding members, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Luxemburg, the Maldives, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, the UAE, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
As a founding member, countries have a say in creating governance and operating rules for the bank. Other countries may join later, but would only be granted voting rights.
More than 50 countries have applied to be founding members of AIIB, including North Korea. Its membership was denied in February due to its current economic fundamentals and financial condition.