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BRICS Summit to focus on trade ties, joint development bank

The theme of the fourth BRICS Summit is 'Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth'. Also on the agenda during the summit would be a BRICS development bank.

BT Online Bureau | March 28, 2012 | Updated 12:10 IST

Trade ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will meet in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss ways to strengthen economic ties, as part of the BRICS Summit 2012.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma would meet his counterparts from Brazil Fernando Pimente, Chen Deming from China and Russia's Elvira Nabiullina and Rob Davis from South Africa.

New areas of cooperation are expected to be discussed at the meeting, said an official release.

Sharma said: "There is a large untapped growth potential of intra-BRICS trade and investments which we are presently focusing on for exploitation."

Besides, the development banks of BRICS are in advanced stage of reaching a pact for extending cross-country credit in local currencies of the member countries, he said.

The theme of the fourth BRICS Summit is 'Partnership for Stability, Security and Growth'. Also on the agenda during the summit would be a BRICS development bank.

Experts say a joint bank will be very useful, particularly to Africa, but a major challenge that may come on its way is aligning the interest of the member countries.

"Within the BRICS group, governments are seeking tangible areas of collaborations, clearly one is its development bank. The point of BRICS bank is a very noble venture," said Martyn Davies, CEO of the market research firm Frontier Advisory.

"It will be very beneficial, particularly to the sub-Saharan Africa," Davies said at a seminar organised by his company in partnership with Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Davies said the main challenges in setting up a BRICS bank will be risk management and aligning the respective interest of the member countries.

"Cash is not a problem," he added.

State Bank of India's (SBI) Africa head Mathai Vaidyan said the idea is good, but it will be very difficult to arrive at a consensus.

The last BRICS summit was held in China in April 2011.

With inputs from agencies

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