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'Time is ripe' for BRICS' own bank

By WU JIAO (China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-08 04:30

Foreign Ministry says new institution will help fund infrastructure projects

Five major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — are jointly aiming to establish a $50 billion development bank to fund extensive infrastructure projects during an upcoming summit in Brazil.

President Xi Jinping will attend the summit in his second trip to Latin America since taking office as head of State last year,

But because of scheduling, he will not attend the final of the World Cup, as Brazil had hoped, Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong said on Monday.

The new bank, along with a $50 billion emergency reserve, will help the five nations, known as BRICS, become less dependent on the US dollar and fend off exchange-rate turbulence, experts and officials said. Establishing the bank will mark a milestone in the current international currency system that has long been dominated by the United States and Europe, they said.

Li of the Foreign Ministry said that the "time is ripe" to announce the establishment of the BRICS development bank during the July 15-17 summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

"Concerning the bank, all parties are in consensus. Of course, there are a few differences and viewpoints on technical issues ... but our goal is to establish the BRICS bank as soon as possible," said Li.

He did not elaborate on the bank's share structure, where it would be established or who would first preside over the bank, although he explained that "BRICS members must establish consensus through friendly consultation".

"We are fully confident that we can reach consensus and establish the bank at this summit," he added.

People familiar with the issue said the five member countries will contribute equal shares to the bank, or $10 billion each.

The five have a combined GDP that represents one-fifth of the world's total GDP and also have significant geopolitical influence in the world. They have been eager to set up their own financial institutions instead of relying solely on existing ones such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Zhang Jun, an official in charge of international economic affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said the establishment of the bank and the emergency currency reserve will provide stable support for infrastructure construction among the member countries and in other emerging markets. The bank and reserve will also help new emerging economies better manage global capital risks and financial turbulence.

Leonid Grigoryev, a research fellow of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Reuters that "the BRICS development bank could play an integral role in issues concerning economics and politics and become the coordinator in financing high-tech projects in BRICS.

wujiao@chinadaily.com.cn

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