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    BRICS FMs discuss new Bank, ways to bolster growth
    July 7, 2015, 4:06 pm

    Minister of Finance of the People's Republic of China Lou Jiwei, center, and Governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan, left, at the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, Meeting of the Board of Governors of the BRICS New Development Bank [Image: BRICS2015.ru]

    Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China Lou Jiwei, center, and Governor of the People’s Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan, left, at the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, Meeting of the Board of Governors of the BRICS New Development Bank [Image: BRICS2015.ru]

    Finance officials from the BRICS economies on Tuesday asserted that infrastructure development of the BRICS bank’s member states will be the top priority for the new lender.

    The BRICS Finance Ministers and central bank governors met in Moscow on Tuesday ahead of the first BRICS Bank board of governors meet.

    The five Finance Ministers, Lou Jiwei from China, Anton Siluanov from Russia, Arun Jaitley from India, Nhlanhla Nene from South Africa and Brazil’s Joaquim Levy discussed recent developments in the global economy and the BRICS as well as key issues in the G20 agenda that affects the BRICS.

    Siluanov chaired the meet.

    “Of course, investing funds in economies of other countries will be carried out as well, but the priority is still the development of the infrastructure of the bank’s member states,” Siluanov said in a press conference referring to the New Development Bank launched by the BRICS.

    The meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Moscow comes at a difficult time, with major economies running at different speeds, monetary policies diverging and Greece casting a new shadow over Europe. The Greece crisis was discussed informally at the meet.

    The finance officials also took note of Greece’s efforts to strike a new debt agreement with the euro zone following the “NO” vote in Sunday’s historic referendum.

    “We did not discuss it [the situation] in details, and did not aim to work out a common position. Of cource, everyone is concerned over what is happening there and… what the consequences would be for financial markets overall and the consequences for countries with forming markets, including BRICS member states,” said Russian Central bank head Elvira Nabiullina who attended the BRICS meet.

    Athens is seeking a new debt arrangement and demanding a reversal of austerity.

    Russian Finance Minister Siluanov said on Tuesday that Greece is making a “negative contribution to the overall condition of the financial markets, particularly in developing countries.”

    “The situation in Greece should have been discussed much earlier even before the crisis phase. Actions should have been taken by the EU, the IMF, a little earlier, to foresee this scenario,” said Siluanov.

    BRICS Finance Minister “agreed that Greece, in any case needs to work on structural measures to bring its commitments in line with the capabilities of the economy”.

    “We were in favor of early stabilization of the situation and the achievement of agreement between Greece and its creditors,” he added.

    BRICS heads of state will meet in the Russian city of Ufa on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss further integration of their markets and intra-BRICS investment.

    The finance chiefs on Tuesday in Moscow also discussed the key points incorporated in the Leaders Declaration that will be unveiled at the end of the 2-day summit in Russia.

    Trade between the five countries reached $291 billion in 2014.

    “During the last six years intra-BRICS trade increased by more than 70 percent from $168 billion in 2008 to $291 billion in 2014. These figures prove that our countries have chosen the right way to develop cooperation on the economic track,” said Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev on Tuesday.

    The share of BRICS countries in global GDP has reached 30 per cent.

    “Our countries accounted for over 17 percent of global trade, 13 percent of the global services market and 45 percent of the world’s agricultural output [in 2014],” Ulyukayev noted, adding that the combined GDP of the five BRICS countries surged from $10 trillion in 2001 to $32.5 trillion in 2014.

     

    TBP

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