New Brics bank: SA goes for gold

2014-07-13 15:01

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South Africa will argue at the next Brics summit for the bloc’s development bank headquarters to be located in the country. This because Africa is likely to be the bank’s “prime client”.

In an interview with City Press, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said though there has been speculation that the Brics bank headquarters will either be in Shanghai, China, or New Delhi, India, South Africa will argue that it is the best location for the bank.

“We have indicated our view that South Africa will be a good location for the headquarters of the bank for many reasons, including that the African continent is likely to be a prime client and we already have links and financial relations with practically every other country on the continent,” said Davies.

He said the Brics development bank should be a facility that, among other things, could finance infrastructure projects on the continent as well as in other developing regions.

“There’s a deficit in terms of infrastructure funding [in Africa] and the new Brics development bank can play a big role in facilitating those kinds of needs.

“As a bank that is emerging from groups of other emerging economies, it will have a focus on development and create a niche around those kinds of issues,” he said.

But Davies said after the Brics bank location was decided, it would be run as an institution with its own values and structures and “will not fall within country governments, but will be funding development and infrastructure projects”.

He added: “It is not something that any countries would benefit extra from where the headquarters are.”

Apart from the location of the bank headquarters, other issues that will be discussed at the summit include currency pool, the technical proposals on the establishment of the bank, shareholding, global peace and security, and intracountry trade and investment matters.

“Heads of state said it could be the finance minister of Brics countries working on the technical proposals for the establishment of the bank.

“Finance ministers will meet to shape the issues with regards to operational issues of the Brics development bank,” said Davies.

The sixth Brics summit will take place in Brazil from tomorrow until Wednesday.

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