JOHANNESBURG, July 8 (Xinhua) — The 7th BRICS summit taking place in the Russian city of Ufa could mark a milestone in the group’s history, with the launch of a multi-billion U.S. dollar development bank expected to correct development problems among its members, experts have said.
The BRICS countries include the world’s major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The group on Tuesday launched the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), among its goals is to finance infrastructure projects mainly in BRICS members.
Christopher Woods, researcher with the Economic Development Program at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), said the launch of the NDB demonstrated that “bold and practical decisions” would be taken by the BRICS heads of state during the summit.
“The whole world is waiting to hear the decisions of the summit on what the development bank will be financing and how countries will benefit from the bank,” Woods told Xinhua.
The NDB, proposed in 2012, will have an initial authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and its initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars will be equally shared among the five founding members.
“We expect the New Development Bank to go a long way in correcting problems that have been preventing economic development in the member countries,” said Woods.
Developing countries have long complained that loans from organizations like the World Bank always come with strings attached.
Besides the NDB issues, the group is also expected to discuss regional and global issues, and cooperation among the economic powerhouses.
“There are areas of convergence among BRICS members and these include fighting terrorism, tackling illegal migration, and governance issues,” said Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari, a senior research fellow at the SAIIA.
Though BRICS was crafted as an economic bloc, issues of peace and security will also a take center stage at the summit, Hengari said.
“Previous BRICS meetings have been to put the group together, but at this meeting they are taking the process to another level by making concrete progress,” Woods concluded.