What happened to the BRICS bank?


KV Kamath, President of the NDB, speaks at the BRICS summit in Brasilia PHOTO/NDB

Five years after its creation, the New Development Bank, or BRICS bank, hasn’t lived up to grand early promise — but things could change

When it was created in 2014, the New Development Bank (NDB) harboured dreams of finally breaking the hegemony of financing structures created by developed countries and embodied by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

The NDB is the Brics bank, born of the group of so-called ‘emerging’ economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China, and later South Africa — that this week celebrates its 10th anniversary in Brasília.

The NDB was to be by and for the developing world. The bank would excel at innovation and transparency like no other. It pledged to favour sustainable projects above any others.

Yet, so far the only members are its founders; observers find its criteria for choosing investments vague; and even controversial Amazon road paving can get the NDB’s ‘sustainable’ stamp.

More to the point, few people even really know of the ND – so what happened?

Why was the NDB created?

The NDB was initially India’s idea, which it shared with other Brics members in 2012. After two years of negotiations, the bank was created at the 2014 Brics summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

By that time, the Brics had become much more than a group of countries with a convenient and catchy acronym.

Brics was the most important group of developing nations in the world because it involved five massive emerging countries with some of the world’s largest populations, land masses and economies.

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