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Bank in focus for Durban Summit
January 17, 2013, 11:50 am

The BRICS leaders. [AP]

The BRICS leaders. [AP]

BRICS are likely to finalise the structure for a development bank that will help fund infrastructure in developing countries at the Summit in Durban this March.

South Africa will the take over the chairmanship of the group for 12 months after Durban, and then hand over to Brazil.

The bank is part of a strategy, agreed in New Delhi last year by the grouping to look at long term investment opportunities within the respective countries.

BRICS countries say the bank will not compete with existing world institutions like the World Bank or the IMF, but rather supplement them, especially in developing countries.

The seed capital for the bank is projected to be $50billion or more, making it about $10billion per member country.

It is envisaged that the bank would provide pooled funds to various infrastructure projects and other sectors and support and drive commerce between the BRICS economies.

Director General in the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation Jerry Matjila said there was political will among the group to have the bank.

World Bank outgoing Chief Robert Zoellick had backed the creation of a BRICS bank – warning not to do so would be a “mistake of historic proportions”

In an interview to the Financial Times in 2012 he said, “If BRICS nations decide they want another financing vehicle – fine. Let’s figure out how to work with it … I’m enough of an economist that I’m not a monopolist.”

“If you believe in a multilateral system then India and Brazil are going to become more important over time and we need to draw from their knowledge and, in time, their finances,” he added in the interview.

Source: Agencies