The five-year-old New Development Bank is set to scale a new milestone at the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia as the leaders of the five BRICS countries look set to approve the expansion of the Bank’s membership to new countries and to open new offices in India and Russia.
The New Development Bank (NDB), launched in 2014 by China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa, was designed to provide developing countries an alternative source of development finance, which was hitherto the monopoly of the West-dominated Bretton Woods institutions.
The Shanghai-headquartered NDB was set up with a subscribed capital of $50 billion, of which $10 billion is paid capital.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, the host of the 11th BRICS summit, will hold wide-ranging talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China’s President Xi Jinping, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the capital Brasilia on November.
The leaders of the five countries are expected to approve the expansion of the NDB’s membership and underline that it “will strengthen the bank’s role as a global development finance institution and further contribute to the mobilization of resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other EMDCs.” The Brasilia declaration, according to well-placed sources, will pave the way for consultations with potential new Bank members. The leaders will call on the Board of Governors of the NDB to proceed with the expansion of the Bank’s membership, in accordance with NDB’s Articles of Agreement, said sources. The new members joining the NDB are likely to be announced in 2020.
The leaders are also expected to approve the opening of the two remaining NDB Regional Offices in Russia and India in 2020. The NDB has already set up the Americas Regional Office in São Paulo, along with its sub-office in Brasília.
The NDB’s total project approvals are currently estimated to be at $12.5 billion for 45 projects. In 2019, the Bank approved 14 loans worth $4.4 billion. The unfolding success of the NDB can be attested by the growing portfolio of the approved projects. By the end of 2019, the NDB projects total approvals to reach $14 billion to $15 billion, almost double the portfolio of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
India, one of the earliest backers of the NDB, is a major beneficiary of funds approved by the NDB for a wide array of projects.
Enhancing intra-BRICS trade and investent is among major outcomes of the Brasilai summit, which is themed: “Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.”
Focus on counter-terrorism
Besides the expansion of NDB, the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia will be marked by enhanced cooperation among the five countries to jointly combat the scourge of terrorism by accelerating joint initiatives to counter terror financing and money laundering. At the plenary, Prime Minister Modi is expected to highlight increasing threats of terrorism to India, specially from cross-border terror perpetrated by Pakistan.
“We have also worked closely with in BRICS to not only take a strong stand against terrorism but also work to bring about focused consultations on specific aspects related to terrorism,” said T.S. Tirumurti, India’s sherpa for BRICS and Secretary (Economic Affairs) in India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
“This year the joint working group on counter-terrorism has decided to constitute five sub working groups on counterterrorism in the following areas. Terrorist financing, use of Internet for terrorist purposes, countering radicalization, issue of foreign terrorist fighters and capacity-building,” he said ahead of the BRICS summit. “It is expected that India will chair the subgroup on use of internet for terrorist purposes,” he added.
BRICS brings together five major emerging economies straddling three continents, and comprises 42 percent of the world’s population, having 23 percent of the global GDP and around 17 percent of the share and world trade.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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