Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who welcomed Canada's decision to apply for membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). But what benefits will this deliver?
The Government of Canada says it is committed to strengthening the middle class by promoting strong, inclusive economic growth in Canada and around the world - investments in high-quality infrastructure contribute to long-term growth and a better quality of life for people at home and abroad.
The AIIB will help sustain growth in Asia and represents an opportunity for Canada to further engage in multilateral infrastructure efforts that support inclusive economic growth in Asia and beyond. Membership in the AIIB also complements Canada's significant engagement in other international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank.
By aiming to become the first North American member of the AIIB, the government says Canada is demonstrating its renewed commitment to engaging around the world, and acting on its belief in the long-term economic benefits of targeted investments in high-quality infrastructure projects.
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau underlined that helping fund high-quality infrastructure in Asia will contribute to global economic growth and help Canadian companies to explore new commercial opportunities.
He said: "Succeeding in the global economy of tomorrow will require strategic partnerships and openness to the world. That's why, in addition to helping families and making historic infrastructure investments at home, we are forging new ties with international partners. Canada is always looking for ways to create hope and opportunity for our middle class as well as for people around the world, and membership in the AIIB is an opportunity to do just that."
Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, added: "Canadians know that expanding trade and investment with large and fast-growing markets is a key priority. We have a very meaningful economic relationship with China, as our second largest trading partner. The AIIB's infrastructure projects stand to produce sustainable economic growth and prosperity for the middle class—and Canada is pleased at the prospect of joining this work today."