Member states of the US$100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank aim to put high standards of internal governance in place, ensuring the lender becomes "the best bank possible", according to France's ambassador to China. In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post , Maurice Gourdault-Montagne said chief negotiators from the AIIB's 57 prospective founding members met in Singapore last month to discuss governance goals, including sustainability, safeguards, debt policy and procurement. Of course we want the bank to be efficient. But we should also respect the rules MAURICE GOURDAULT-MONTAGN Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of Seven industrialised nations - four of which are AIIB founding members - met on Friday, urging the new lender to follow international standards and ensure transparency. "We want to build up with other founding members the best bank possible, the most solid, the one that can lend money efficiently to countries that require the money," Gourdault-Montagne said. Beijing has pledged to streamline the bank's governance and avoid the inefficient practices of lenders dominated by the West. The United States, in particular, has publicly expressed concern over how the AIIB - which is due to be launched by the end of this year - would operate. But that has not dissuaded some of its closest allies such as Britain and France from signing up. There were some "good practices" and "some difficulties and some hurdles" in the members' discussions so far, Gourdault-Montagne said, without elaborating. Another diplomat told the Post earlier that the bank was likely to adopt a high voting threshold for "key decisions". The mechanism would mirror that of some existing lenders, although those institutions have also been criticised for inefficiency . Gourdault-Montagne said the AIIB should not sacrifice rules for efficiency. "Of course we want the bank to be efficient. But we should also respect the rules." Responding to a report that Asian members would have 75 per cent of the AIIB's voting rights, Gourdault-Montagne said: "This is the beginning. There are Asian countries and non-Asian countries, founding countries and non-founding countries … We know the rules at the beginning are such and then there'll be discussions." He also said the capital split among nations would take factors such as gross domestic product into consideration. France felt it necessary to join the AIIB because of its economic links with China in a range of areas from nuclear power to aerospace manufacturing, as well as their long-standing political ties, Gourdault-Montagne said. "It's always better to be in than to be out," he said. He said the members would discuss whether the AIIB would have a branch office in Europe. He also said Jin Liqun , secretary general of the AIIB's multilateral interim secretariat, was talented and experienced. "He is also someone who knows the interests of China. He has a farsighted vision about what the bank must be."