The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has formally granted Afghanistan full membership, taking the lender’s membership to 80. The Afghan finance ministry said on Saturday it received a certificate of membership from the Beijing-based multilateral bank on the sidelines of a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington. The AIIB, an institution created under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration to boost China’s global influence, approved Afghanistan’s membership in March. With a registered capital of US$100 billion, the bank is expected to have about 90 members by the end of this year, according to the South China Morning Post. It aims to give financial support to infrastructure projects in Asia and is widely seen as China’s answer to the US-led World Bank and Japan-led Asian Development Bank. Also in Washington, Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi spoke to AIIB president Jin Liqun about support for solar energy and railway links between Afghanistan, central Asia and China.