Amidst growing world tensions, the upcoming BRICS summit in Xiamen, a southeastern Chinese city, will help its five member states build a needed stronger economic partnership, the group''s New Development Bank (NDB) President K. V. Kamath hopes. In remarks to Xinhua news agency, the financial expert said the NDB itself is an 'outcome of the economic togetherness' of this emerging group.
It has been over a decade since Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa came together to form BRICS. At its 9th summit in Xiamen in early September, Kamath will present the bank's progress over the last two years as well as the direction it is heading in the coming two to three years.
Founded by BRICS member states in 2014, the NDB opened in Shanghai in July 2015 and became fully operational in early 2016, Xinhua recalls. The first NDB-funded loan, a solar power project in Shanghai, is expected to start operation in August. The bank is expected to approve five new projects with a total value of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in September, with two of them in China, said Kamath.
Altogether, the bank has 23 projects at various stages of preparation for 2017-2018, with a total lending amount of 6 billion dollars. The bank granted loans to seven projects in 2016.
According to its general strategy for 2017-2021, the bank will put about two-thirds of its loans into sustainable infrastructure development.
The NDB is also planning to open its first regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa on Aug. 17, to operate as a 'face to Africa' in preparing projects. The bank intends to open other regional offices, but the timing of this is unclear, said Kamath.