Emerging powers' group likely to also take steps to align bourses
By Nirmala Ganapathy, The Straits Times, 29 Mar 2012
NEW DELHI: A development bank along the lines of the World Bank that could fund projects and encourage trade in developing nations will top the agenda when leaders of emerging powers Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) meet here today for their annual summit.
The Brics countries, which account for about 40 per cent of the world's population, are also expected to look at setting up a common secretariat, take steps to align their stock exchanges and discuss regional and international developments in Syria and Iran.
Although their economies are among the fastest-growing in the world, the five countries have serious political and foreign policy differences. For a start, India and China have a border dispute. China and Russia have also opposed expansion of the United Nations Security Council to accommodate countries like India and Brazil.
But they have similar economic and financial goals. The idea of a multilateral bank to provide a common investment fund for infrastructure and development projects is seen as an attempt to increase Brics' influence in international economic affairs dominated by Western nations. 'It would be a very powerful tool to improve trade opportunities and maybe a major step to support the EU (European Union) to overcome its financial crisis,' said Brazilian Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel.