Brics summit ends without bank deal

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA. The leaders of Brics stopped short of establishing a highly-touted development bank at this week’s summit in South Africa, instead saying they would enter “formal negotiations” on the issue.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA. The leaders of Brics stopped short of establishing a highly-touted development bank at this week’s summit in South Africa, instead saying they would enter “formal negotiations” on the issue.

However, the summit did yield some agreements, including big-money bilateral trade deals.

The main objective of this year’s summit was to be the establishment of a development bank.  South Africa’s finance minister said the negotiations were “done” the night before the summit—but that was clearly not the case.

South African President Jacob Zuma said Wednesday the five nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—would enter “formal negotiations” to establish the bank. 

That moves the issue slightly forward, but still does not address where the bank will be, or how much money each nation will contribute. Several experts and officials say the bank will start with $50b, divided equally.

Feasible and viable

“Following the report from our Finance Ministers, we are satisfied that the establishment of a New Development Bank is feasible and viable. We have agreed to establish the bank,” Zuma said.

“The initial capital contribution to should be substantial and sufficient for the bank to be effective in financing infrastructure.”

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told journalists that the lack of agreement on details was not a failure.

“The fact that in one year, you can initiate an idea and bring it to the point where you have five different countries saying, ‘we agree, let’s establish it,” and having established its feasibility and viability, I think it is phenomenal progress,” he said.

The summit also yielded some concrete deals, including a sheaf of agreements between South Africa and Russia and a multibillion dollar bilateral deal between South Africa and China to build ships in the port city of Durban.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News