The BRICS, an emerging alliance of nations that represent approximately half the world’s population, are holding their sixth summit from Monday. Even before the event begins, however, tensions have flared over a likely vote on a New Development Bank (NDB), to be coordinated between members: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.Tensions? Aren't we all here (Brazil) to help the world's poor?
The location for the new bank, though, remains a sticking point. On Thursday, Kremlin aide Yury Ushanov said it was confirmed that the headquarters of the NDB would be in Shanghai, China. Earlier in the week, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov had said the bank’s location would be in either New Delhi or Shanghai.
South Africa countered on Friday that this was “speculation.” There has been “no decision on the domicile of the bank,” explained Rob Davies, South Africa’s trade and industry minister. Peter Fabricius, writing in the Pretoria News, contends that South African officials assumed they would be in line for the bank’s headquarters, and he speculates that the newest member to the bloc was “shanghaied” over the matter.
Davies insisted that South Africa has a “compelling value proposition” that the NDB be headquartered in Johannesburg. Our “robust, significant financial sector here” would allow “efficacy” for infrastructure investment on the African continent. “Debate will have to take place” among all the heads of state as “agreed.”