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New Development Bank chief upbeat on future

By Hong Xiao in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-15 10:38

The president of the New Development Bank is optimistic about the economic futures of the BRICS member states.

"We believe that there is very good potential for win-win economic cooperation between the five countries," said NDB President Kundapur Vaman Kamath at the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday.

"We are determined to expand the bank's role as an innovative and reliable development partner, increasing support to all member countries to achieve their development agendas," Kamath said.

Founded in 2014 with headquarters in Shanghai, the NDB was jointly established by the BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - with the goal of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries.

In 2018, the bank received a AA+ international credit rating from leading global agencies, joining highly rated development banks.

He also said China's growing economy is vital to economic cooperation among BRICS members.

"The growth momentum in China is strong," Kamath said. "I believe that the economic growth will continue, and China will further contribute to cooperation between BRICS nations."

Kamath has served as NDB president since 2015. Before joining the NDB, Kamath was nonexecutive chairman at ICICI Bank, an Indian banking and financial services company, from 2009 to 2015.

"As the first multilateral development bank established by developing countries and emerging economies, the NDB aims to be an integral part of the solution to some of the key infrastructure development challenges facing our member countries," said Kamath.

"The NDB aims to be innovative in terms of funding and lending, for example, by exploring opportunities offered by local currency financing," he added.

Kamath said that in four years, the NDB has become a fully operational multilateral development bank, with 46 project approvals valued at $12.8 billion. In 2019, the bank's board of directors has so far approved 15 loans totaling about $4.7 billion.

The NDB's lending to China for 13 approved projects stood at $3.86 billion. The projects approved by the NDB span a range of sectors including energy, transportation, urban development and environmental protection, and are in alignment with China's development objectives.

Kamath also said China has sound capital markets, and with strong support from the People's Bank of China and China's Ministry of Finance, the NDB was able to raise 6 billion yuan ($850 million) from bond issuances in China.

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