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Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa to Form Independent Development Bank and Currency Reserve

First Posted: Jul 16, 2014 09:40 AM EDT

The leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa announced in a joint statement on Tuesday the creation of their own development bank. The announcement was made after a plenary meeting of the five BRICS heads of state in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The New Development Bank will be headquartered in China, with $100 billion in reserve.

In the statement, BRICS leaders said, "Based on sound banking principles, the NDB will strengthen cooperation among our countries and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development."

Its funding aim will be infrastructure projects in developing nations, and they will begin lending in 2016.

The first chair of the Board of Governors will be from Russia, the chair of the Board of Directors will be from Brazil, and the president of the NDB will be from India, with BRICS nation leaders rotating in the positions every five years. The bank will have an African regional branch in South Africa, and other nations will be able to participate.

Also announced was the creation of BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement of $100 billion to help countries forestall short-term liquidity problems.

In the statement, leaders added, "The world economy has strengthened, with signs of improvement in some advanced economies.  Significant downside risks to this recovery remain, however. Unemployment and debt levels are worryingly high and growth remains weak in many advanced economies."

According to Reuters, the new bank reflects the growing influence of BRICS, which account for almost half the world's population, and about one fifth of global economic output.

The bank is seen by many as a push against the dominance of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and a move to counter Western hold on global finances. In the statement, leaders of the two organizations said, "We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF's legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness. "

The idea for a new bank was first proposed during a summit in New Delhi, India in 2012.

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