BRICS leaders edge closer to setting up development bank

Heads of the BRICS countries pose prior to the BRICS summit in New Delhi on March 29.

Story highlights

  • The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa hold talks Thursday
  • They agree to study the idea of setting up their own development bank
  • The leaders also call for reform on the International Monetary Fund
  • They say the problems in Syria and Iran can only solved through dialogue

The leaders of five of the world's top emerging economies moved closer Thursday toward establishing a development bank that could one day serve as an alternative to the World Bank.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- collectively known as the BRICS -- "agreed to examine in greater detail a proposal to set up a BRICS-led South-South Development Bank, funded and managed by the BRICS and other developing countries," said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

The leaders were meeting in New Delhi on Thursday for their fourth annual summit. Finance ministers from the five countries have been directed to look into the idea of the development bank and report back at the next summit, Singh said.

The leaders also asked the International Monetary Fund to speed up changes in its governance to better represent the developing world as a voting bloc.

"The rapid recovery of the BRICS economies from the financial crisis highlighted their role as growth drivers of the global economy," Singh said.

Together, the BRICS nations make up more than 40% of the world population and one-fifth of the global economy.

The group called for peaceful resolutions of the Syria and Iranian crises.

"We agreed that a lasting solution to the problems in Syria and Iran can only be found through dialogue," Singh said.

Besides the IMF, the leaders also urged reforms of the United Nations and other international bodies for a larger voice for the developing world.

"Institutions of global political and economic governance created more than six decades ago have not kept pace with the changing world. While some progress has been made in international financial institutions, there is lack of movement on the political side," Singh said. "BRICS should speak with one voice on important issues such as the reform of the UN Security Council."

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