President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended the progress made by the New Development Bank (NDB) since its inception in 2015.
"It has been five years since we signed the Articles of the New Development Bank at the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, thus establishing the first multilateral development institution by emerging and developing countries.
"Today, we proudly acknowledge the significant achievements made by the Bank, and for this we commend the stewardship of President Kamath," President Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
President Ramaphosa made the remarks during a dialogue between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Heads of State and Government, the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank held in Brasilia, Brazil. The leaders were gathered for the 11th BRICS Summit.
As founding members, President Ramaphosa said they have made a commitment that the Bank should benefit not only BRICS countries but should extend its horizon to other emerging markets and developing countries.
He said South Africa is particularly impressed with the Bank's efforts to ensure that it becomes a global financial institution by 2021.
"South Africa supports the bank's flexible approach to membership and the composition of the list of countries to be considered as prospective members for the first phase of expansion. We stand ready to support the bank in this process, particularly with regard to reaching out to Africa.
"We are confident that the NDB's activities on the continent will assist in addressing the large infrastructure financing gap that has been impeding economic growth and development in Africa. In this slowing growth environment, where fiscal and monetary policy is limited, public and private role players need to collaborate to support growth," President Ramaphosa said.
The President said institutions like the New Development Bank should consider innovative financing instruments to crowd-in private sector participation.
"As we grow and strengthen the NDB as an institution, we must not lose sight of its developmental mandate. We call on the NDB to ensure that its financing policies support infrastructure development in all our countries."
President Ramaphosa said the NDB, also known as the BRICS Bank, has demonstrated great leadership since it opened its doors in 2015, bringing it on par with and, in some instances, surpassing other regional development banks.
Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa welcomed the report of the chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, and expressed gratitude to the council's continued work in bringing together business communities.