BRICS Nations Meet, Hope to Start Own Bank

Fellows Spring 2012

By Christopher Werth

March 29, 2012

Also aired on Marketplace

Stacey Vanek Smith: The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa gathered in New Delhi today for a summit for the so-called BRICS group of emerging economies. At the top of agenda is a proposal to establish their own development bank.

Christopher Werth with the International Reporting Project has more from New Delhi.

Christopher Werth: The new BRICS development bank could help fund badly needed infrastructure projects, like transport systems and power stations.

Nandan Unnikrishnan of the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi says global institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund -- which have always been headed by the U.S. and Europe -- haven't kept up with the needs of big emerging countries. "Therefore there is this desire to establish a development bank that will adequately address the issues that are faced by developing nations."

But if the BRICS bank is meant to counter the influence of the World Bank, Parag Khanna of the London School of Economics says there are already several regional development banks like the one being proposed. "So it wouldn't necessarily compete with any one particular institution, but rather to join the fray."

The BRICS countries at the summit have also stressed the need for dialogue in dealing with Syria and Iran, frustrating the U.S. and Europe's efforts to deal with both conflicts.

In New Delhi, I'm Christopher Werth for Marketplace.