BRICS to explore setting up development bank

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 07, 2012 09:00 hrs

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The BRICS summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa March 29 will explore a slew of new ideas, including a development bank and an investment fund that can spur the development of the emerging and developing countries.

These are among some of the recommendations made by the BRICS academic forum that brainstormed ideas and proposals for the BRICS leaders' meeting that ended in New Delhi Tuesday.

The contours of the development bank are being finalised, and may include proportionate contributions from each of the BRICS member countries to invest in development projects in these countries, said informed sources.

The 4th BRICS Academic Forum said establishing such financial institutions will help take forward the 2011 BRICS Sanya Summit's decision to "strengthen financial cooperation" among their individual development banks.

Around 60 scholars from the five BRICS countries took part in the 4th BRICS Academic Forum meeting, which was organised by the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi-based public policy think tank. The theme for the New Delhi summit is "BRICS Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth".

They made 18 recommendations which will be considered by the leaders of the five emerging economies in diverse areas, including global governance, food security, energy security, intra-BRICS trade and enhanced academic exchanges.

The Forum recommended that given the state of the Eurozone and the continued ripples created by the global financial crisis, greater emphasis must be given to creating frameworks for enabling viable and timely responses to both endogenous and exogenous financial shocks within and outside BRICS.

For this, a systematic approach must be articulated to respond to any further economic downturns in the global economy.

The Forum said BRICS nations also must seek to create institutions that enable viable alternatives for enhancing an inclusive socio-economic development agenda within and outside BRICS. Such institutions should set global benchmarks for best practices and standards.

Participants at the conference stressed that BRICS must evolve as a platform for creating contextualised multilateral policies, and by mutual consultation develop viable and credible mechanisms to respond to local, regional and international political and social turbulence such as the churning going on in West Asia and North Africa.

"As home to nearly half of the world's population, BRICS have a responsibility to create pathways for sustainable development. BRICS could learn from policy successes as well as failures of the past from within and outside BRICS, and seek to implement policy solutions for sustainable development," the BRICS Academic Forum said.

BRICS research institutions have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to step up interactions between think tanks. The next Forum meeting will be held in South Africa in 2013.

Addressing the scholars at the valedictory session, Dinesh Bhatia, joint secretary, the external affairs ministry, said intra-BRICS policymaking efforts and inputs from the academic community are invaluable in creating an inclusive and credible approach to managing common concerns and shared responsibilities.

"Having a common vision is the precursor to any great collaboration," he remarked, commenting on the Forum recommendations and the consensus reached on a wide range of subjects.

Pretoria joined BRIC, a term coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill to denote the four fastest-growing emerging economies of the world, in April 2011 at the Sanya summit in China, changing the nomenclature of the grouping to BRICS.

More from Sify: