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Russia’s BRICS presidency to focus on Development Bank, currency pool — finance minister

April 01, 2015, 19:32 UTC+3 NOVO-OGARYOVO
The main tasks of Russia’s presidency are to implement large projects, in particular, the establishment and the commencement of operations of the New Development Bank, the BRICS members are creating
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

NOVO-OGARYOVO, April 1. /TASS/. The issues of creating the New Development Bank of the BRICS grouping of emerging economies and a pool of reserve currencies will be resolved during Russia’s presidency, which is beginning from April 1, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

"From today, Russia is assuming BRICS presidency, during which about 80 events will be held at the level of ministries and departments," the finance minister said at a meeting of government members with President Vladimir Putin.

The main tasks of Russia’s presidency in the BRICS group, which also comprises Brazil, India, China and South Africa, are to "implement some large projects, in particular, the establishment and the commencement of operations of the New Development Bank, the BRICS members are creating," Siluanov said.

The BRICS New Development Bank with an authorized capital of $100 billion will focus on financing infrastructural and development projects on the territory of the organization’s member states.

Another major event during Russia’s presidency in the BRICS is the task to create a pool of currency reserves, the finance minister said.

"The point at issue is that the pool should lend mutual support by providing funds on the terms of repayment, serviceability and maturity in case of liquidity problems in the BRICS member states," Siluanov said.

BRICS New Development Bank to operate on commercial principles

The BRICS New Development Bank will be a banking institution based on deriving profit, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador-at-Large Vadim Lukov said on Monday.

"The opinion of the shareholders [of the BRICS New Development Bank] is that all projects should be profitable. This is not a mutual aid fund or a grant-issuing office. The New Development Bank will be built on commercial principles," said Lukov who is the Russian Foreign Ministry’s coordinator for BRICS affairs.

Compared with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is primarily focused on Asia, the BRICS New Development Bank will deal with projects in the grouping’s five countries, as well as projects in other countries in a proportion of two to one, the Russian diplomat said.

Russia’s Finance Ministry has said it expects the New Development Bank to start working by late 2015 and reach full-scale operations in 4-5 years.

Under an agreement between the BRICS countries, the Bank’s first president will be from India and the first chairman of the board of directors will be from Brazil while a representative of Russia will be the first chairman of the bank’s board of governors.

The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, China.

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