Finland is going to apply for membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Finnish Finance Minister Antti Rinne confirmed on Monday.
"For years China has been encouraged to take more responsibility in the development on international institutions in the finance sector. Now that China has proceeded to doing this, Finland wants to show its support for the endeavour", Rinne said in a press release in Finnish language.
"AIIB can bring an important input to the economic growth of Asia. Many Finnish companies have special competence in the areas AIIB is focusing on. I hope they will be able to benefit from the possibilities", the minister said.
Finnish Finance Ministry believed an increase in investments in infrastructure in Asian developing countries can support Finnish export industries.
Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat (HS) described the AIIB as a symbol of the weight of China in world economy.
HS economic affairs writer Anni Lassila noted that major EU countries have decided to apply for membership despite opposition from the United States.
At the initial stage, at least the bank's political importance will be greater than its economical impact, Lassila said.
The United States has been critical of the venture seen as a competitor to the U.S.- backed Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB is largely managed under Japanese leadership.
The process of joining the AIIB will follow the standard Finnish practice in entering international agreements. This means that Finland will take a final decision following the completion of the basic agreement.