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BRICS Business Forum opens on eve of BRICS summit in South Africa

March 25, 2013, 13:03 UTC+3

Over 900 businesspeople from the BRICS states are discussing the establishment of a long-standing BRICS Business Council

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DURBAN (South Africa), March 25 (Itar-Tass) – A two-day Business Forum opened on the eve of a BRICS summit in the South African city Durban on Monday. Over 900 businesspeople from the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) meet at the workshops on different themes and industries in the main port city of the South African Republic. They are particularly discussing the establishment of a long-standing BRICS Business Council and the prospects to create a BRICS Bank of Development.

The chief executives of such major companies as Rosatom, Norilsk Nickel, Vnesheconombank and others arrived from Russia to attend the forum.

“It is of great importance for Russia to increase its trade and investment cooperation with its BRICS partners and launch new multilateral business projects involving our nations’ business communities. In Durban we intend to announce the formal establishment of the BRICS Business Council designed to support that activity,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Itar-Tass news agency ahead of the BRICS summit.

The BRICS Business Council will include five representatives from each BRICS country. Russia will most likely delegate Vnesheconombank Chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev and an official with the same surname and Director General of the Fund of Direct Investments Kirill Dmitriyev. Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin, President of the Skolkovo Foundation Viktor Vekselberg and Director General of the Russian state-run corporation Rostechnologii Sergei Chemezov are named among other candidates for members of the BRICS Business Council. The Russian delegation put it clearly that the list of candidates is not final and will be changed.

The BRICS heads of states will announce the coordinated list of all 25 members of the BRICS Business Council on March 27.

The most intriguing question at an upcoming BRICS summit is the creation of a BRICS Bank of Development, the initial capital of which is planned to be 50 billion dollars, thus, ten billion dollars from each BRICS state. The BRICS finance ministers will submit an economic feasibility study of the bank for final consideration of the BRICS heads of states. The BRICS businesspeople and experts are still discussing how this bank is needed and can be put into operation and whether it will find its niche in the world financial industry.

South African President Jacob Zuma has already supported this initiative as a host of the BRICS summit, despite the fact that it will be much more difficult for South Africa to find ten billion dollars for this bank than, say, for China.

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