News

    BRICS Nations Weigh Development Funding

    Leaders of the BRICS countries at New Delhi summit.
    Leaders of the BRICS countries at New Delhi summit.
    Joe DeCapua

    Development funding was a major topic at the BRICS Summit in New Delhi. Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa moved a step closer to forming their own development bank. However, they did not indicate they wanted to replace the work being done by the World Bank.

    John Kirton, head of the BRICS Research Group, said leaders sent a clear message about establishing a development bank.

    “In the first instance, they said we’ll work as hard as we can to raise the resources available for the World Bank. So they put the good old World Bank first as the source of where they wanted to invest their money to do development. Then they said we’re going to give ourselves another year to design a BRICS development bank. So this is not a precipitous rush as a reaction to the fact that, well, we don’t like another American being appointed head of the World Bank,” he said.

    President Obama has nominated Dartmouth College President Dr. Jim Yong Kim to be the next World Bank president.

    Gaining some leverage

    Kirton said, “If you look at guidelines for the design of the BRICS bank, it was clearly a BRICS bank that would lend to not just BRICS countries, but poor countries throughout Africa at least. So it is that spirit of inclusiveness.”

    But Kirton, who attended the summit, believes the proposed development bank gives the BRICS countries some leverage.

    “I think behind it is a grand bargain. Look—we’ve got all this money we’re going to put into a development bank. If the World Bank reforms enough on time we’ll put it there. But if not, a year from now we’re going to put it into our new own BRICS bank. In the raw politics of it, they’re basically saying, OK, South Africa—it’s your call, because a year from now South Africa is chairing the next BRICS summit,” he said.

    Full-fledged member

    Some have questioned South Africa’s inclusion in the group. However, Kirton said South Africa is considered a full-fledged member.

    “They survived, as did their BRICS buddies, the great American turned global financial crisis without their own financial system seizing up. They’ve got a very sound financial system based on four big banks. Their financial system is quite closely connected to London. So their banking system is of international quality, top tier, whereas China’s and Russia’s is not. And then you move outwards in finances in so many other things,” he said.

    BRICS leaders expressed concern at what they call the slow pace of reforms at the International Monetary Fund, the IMF. They say they want the IMF to “enhance the voice of representation of emerging markets and developing countries” by next January.

    Overall, Kirton said the BRICS summit had a comprehensive agenda.

    “A very long agenda – 50 paragraphs – is as broad as the G8. Much broader than just the G20, so it’s way ahead of the G20 in the breadth of the concerns it deals with. And thus it’s able to make the linkages, which are more difficult for G20 to do,” he said.

    One of the linkages made at the BRICS summit was how the Iran nuclear issue could trigger much higher fuel prices and affect the global economic recovery.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.