WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the expanding membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:

“It’s no surprise that China wants to use its vast reserves of foreign currency for economic development and expansion of its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. This region has an incredible need for infrastructure finance over the next decade; more than $8 trillion of investment in infrastructure is needed, according to 2009 estimates.

“If countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia choose to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, then they should use their influence to ensure that the AIIB is a positive force for economic development and to hold the new institution accountable to its goals of lifting people out of poverty and upholding the highest standards of good governance.

“If concerns around governance and transparency are addressed, then we should welcome China’s initiative as they seek to join a longstanding effort, led by institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to encourage economic development and reduce global poverty. I have long been a supporter of reform of the Bretton Woods institutions and believe that they should properly reflect the interests of the largest contributors. I hope that the AIIB will ultimately be a well-governed, positive force for economic development that is complementary to the work of the IMF, the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, and others.”