21 August 2017

African, Latin American Development - BRICS Financial Institutions Set to Play Greater Role

Beijing — The move is part of efforts by the economic bloc to strengthen south-south cooperation.

Development projects in Africa and Latin America will henceforth receive greater attention from the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, BRICS economic bloc financial institutions such as the New Development Bank, NDB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB.

Prof. Chen Fengying, former Director of the Institute of World Economy, made the comment on August 21, 2017, in the Chinese capital, Beijing, at a press organized by the All-China Journalists' Association. "There are many development banks in the world today, the largest being the World Bank. But the New Development Bank owned by BRICS is the only one with developing countries as its backbone," Prof. Fengying noted.

She said the aim was for the New Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS Economic Institute to serve as substitute to the World Bank. It is for this reason that reinforcement of south-south, and south-north cooperation will be addressed at the BRICS leaders' summit in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen from September 3-5, she explained.

"BRICS development has since gone beyond the member States. New Development Bank is up and running, moving from abstract to more concrete issues. As an open platform, BRICS Plus concerns Africa and Latin America; thus the influence of BRICS will soon become more comprehensive," Chen Fengying stated. She added that in order to broaden the scope of their activities and be sustainable in the long run, NDB and AIIB will extend their services to Africa and Latin America to finance development projects. Meanwhile, Kenya and Thailand have been invited to next month's BRICS summit.

On plans by BRICS to create a rating agency, Prof. Fengying said the chances of its success were slim because current macro international finance is still dominated by the US dollar, while today's rating system is monopolized by three American institutions. She recalled that China, Europe and Japan have in the past made similar attempts at creating rating agencies, without much success. Asked if the current border misunderstanding between China and India will be raised at next month's BRICS summit, Chen Fengying ruled out the possibility, saying leaders will not be distracted by "small issues."

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