Expansion Of The BRICS New Development Bank

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Bank has lent US$33 billion to 96 BRICS infrastructure projects

The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) began its eighth annual meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday, with Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov outlining its development plans. The Shanghai-based NDB was established in 2014 by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and formally opened for business a year later. It was later joined by Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. Uruguay is in the process of joining the NDB and Saudi Arabia is also in talks to become a member.

In terms of the proposed Saudi stake, the move is expected to cement ties between the BRICS countries and the world’s second biggest (after Russia) producer of oil. An NDB statement on the issue said “In the Middle East, we attach great importance to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and are currently engaged in a qualified dialogue with them.”

Siluanov said that the current aim of the NDB is to expand links and infrastructure across the bloc and boost the quality of life in member states. “The task of the BRICS is to unite, not to divide. Therefore, when the BRICS countries decided to create the NDB, we pursued one simple goal: to create a financial institution for developing countries, so that we all have an additional tool to support our joint development agenda.”

According to Siluanov, the bank will focus on areas such as facilitating the transfer of technology and promoting innovation, as well as solving food and energy security problems, developing sustainable infrastructure, and creating development potential. It is important that the NDB remains open to admitting new members and cooperating with all international organizations, Siluanov stressed.

To date, the NDB has loaned US$33 billion to more than 96 projects in its five founding-member countries; and tends to work in eco-sustainable projects. Dilma Rousseff, the NDB president and former president of Brazil, said that the bank would look to work more closely with other multilateral and national banks. It will also aim to finance more projects in local currencies to protect borrowers from fluctuations, she noted. The bank ceased structuring loans in USD and Euros in 2021.

On Monday, the NDB announced the issuance of 8.5 billion RMB Yuan worth of Panda Bonds (US$1.23 billion) in China’s interbank bond market, with the aim of financing sustainable development projects.

The NDB is not currently funding any projects in Russia although Russia remains a significant shareholder.

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