26 April 2012

South Africa: Govt Pushing for Brics Development Bank

Photo: South African Government
The fourth BRICS meeting in India.

Pretoria — South Africa says as host of the next BRICS summit next year, it has a duty to ensure that the grouping realises its dream of a Development Bank.

"As the host of the next BRICS Summit, we have a contribution to make to the realisation of the objective of establishing the BRICS Development Bank," International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said delivering her Budget Vote in Parliament on Wednesday.

The announcement of the DevelopmentBank by the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) grouping, which they say will supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development, was first announced at their meeting in New Delhi, last month.

The envisaged bank would mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in Brics and other emerging economies and developing countries.

To get the ball rolling, the five leaders in their declaration mandated their finance ministers to examine the feasibility and viability of such an initiative.

Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa would use its cooperation agreements with BRICS and IBSA (India, Brazil and SA) countries to highlight the development opportunities not only in the country but the African continent.

She told MPs that IBSA continues to play a unique role as a body bringing together three democracies of the South from three continents.

Furthermore, South Africa will seek to use its membership of the G20 to promote and strengthen the interests of Africa and of the South. Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa will continue to develop and deepen cooperation with the countries in that part of the world to take full advantage of the trade, investment and human resource development opportunities provided for our country and people by this region.

The country will also take full advantage of the African Diaspora Summit which will take place next month. The meeting will help create sustainable partnerships between the African Diaspora and the African continent through a realisable Programme of Action; create sustainable dialogue, partnerships and strengthen Pan-African solidarity for a better Africa and the Diaspora; and promote South-South cooperation in the betterment of the African continent and the Diaspora.

In her speech, the minister touched on cooperation in other parts of the world such as Asia, the Caribbean and Europe among others.

Despite the economic challenges in the Eurozone, she was hopeful that South Africa could continue to consolidate relations with some of its key strategic partners in the region and tap into other areas of cooperation such as skills development, science, technology and agriculture.

Nkoana-Mashabane also used her speech to reiterate its call for the institutions of global governance to be reformed with a view to making them more representative and sensitive to the interests of developing countries.

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