The huge interest that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has garnered is a clear evidence of Asia's strength, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.
Last October, Malaysia was one of 21 countries to sign up as founders. The bank predicts that the number may grow to 35 in due course, he said.
In the last few weeks Britain, then Germany, France and Italy, all agreed to join as founder members.
"Europe's largest economies have every confidence that the AIIB will play a huge role in shaping the future. And, they don't want to miss out on that opportunity," he said at the Boao Forum for Asia 2015 (BFA) in Boao, Hainan, today.
Asia has already proved its strength and resilience, weathering the world financial crisis far better than many other economies in large part because of what the region is already doing together.
Intra-Asian trade is flourishing – in fact, globally, it is the fastest growing trade route – and in 2013 it represented around 25% of the continent’s annual exports.
"Yes, we are diverse, in culture, race and religion. But look what we can do together," said Najib.
"As one of the founding members of AIIB, we look forward to the signing of the Articles of Association in June," he said, adding that AIIB would create a large fund that can be used to develop infrastructure in the whole of Asia, especially Asean. – Bernama, March 28, 2015