Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 28, 2015 15:33:47 GMT -5
BRICS Bank panel hosted by RT and SPIEF.
RT Jun 28, 2015
RT and SPIEF have jointly held a panel discussion titled ‘THE NEW DEVELOPMENT BANK: A STRONGER ROLE FOR BRICS IN THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL ARCHITECTURE’.
The BRICS economies have established a USD 100 billion development bank to be based in Shanghai. What does this new institution mean for global economic management? What are some of the key areas of focus over the medium term? RT presenter Peter Lavelle was joined by a set of very distinguished guests - representatives of banks, ministries, think tanks: Pedro Alba, Amar Bhattacharya, Vladimir Dmitriev, Kundapur Vaman Kamath, Philippe Le Houerou, Sergey Storchak, and Shaolin Yang. Front-row guests: Ben Aris, Yaroslav Lissovolik, and Jim Rogers.
The Chinese Parliament has ratified the creation of the BRICS Development Bank. The New Development Bank was conceived as a counterbalance to such Western-led financial institutions as the World Bank and the IMF.
The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, that is Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Each nation will have an equal say in the bank’s management, regardless of GDP size.
Each BRICS member is expected to contribute an equal share in establishing a startup capital of $50 billion, with a goal of reaching $100 billion in capitalization. The BRICS bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, with India presiding as president during the first year, and Russia serving as the chairman of the representatives.
China has pledged to contribute a total of $41 billion to the NDB bank, which will give it the largest voting rights, at 39.5 percent, Reuters reports.
The agreement has already been ratified in India and Russia.
In China, the creation of the NDB bank, also known as the BRICS Bank, has been approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at its meeting that runs until July 1.
It has been agreed that an African regional center of the NDB bank will be established in South Africa.
The launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step in breaking the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions that BRICS countries have little influence within.
However, top policymakers in China and Russia, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly stressed the Bank isn’t a replacement for the established Western institutions, but is complementary.
South Africa is expected to present ratification documents in July during a meeting of BRICS countries in the Russian city of Ufa.
BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate measure of real economic performance. Total trade between the countries amounts to $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.
The other bank being promoted by Beijng as an alternative to existing development institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, is the new Asian development bank, known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, created in October 2014. Britain and Germany are listed among its 57 member states.
BRICS could sign economic cooperation in 5yrs - minister.
RT.com July 06, 2015 13:38
The BRICS countries may sign an agreement on economic integration in the next 5 years, says Russia’s Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexei Likhachev. Russia will offer a ‘road map’ at the BRICS summit in Ufa this week, he said.
Although the group of 5 BRICS countries was initially designed as a “group of allies,” it has started to look like an economic block, Likhachev told TASS Monday.
"Of course, it is premature to talk about a BRICS economic agreement. But if the approach and the crystallization of our association as an international group takes place at the same pace as now, then an economic agreement within a few years will be quite timely and inevitable. I think it can happen within five years," he said.
There’s no rush for a free trade zone agreement because the countries are not yet ready for it psychologically, according to Likhachev. The terms of an agreement are already being discussed, he added.
There’s already a joint research team to develop a preferential trade regime between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the minister said. Russia is ready to discuss the issue of a free trade zone with South Africa as the counties’ economies do not compete in key areas but rather complement each other, according to Likhachev. As for Brazil, there could be some difficulties as the country’s economy competes with Russia. When it comes to a preferential regime with Brazil, Russia rather needs it than not, Likhachev said. He added that Russian companies have expressed an interest in the Brazilian market, and it could lead a way to Latin America as a whole.
The BRICS economic agreement will develop in several stages, Likhachev claimed. At first it will be a declarative document, guiding countries to more active cooperation. Then it could be non-preferential agreements that optimize regulatory systems, simplify customs and investment procedures and create the so-called "green corridors" for goods. The third, preferential regime phase will consist of concessions that BRICS countries will make in terms of commodity trading.
He also assumed that the idea of a preferential trade agreement could be discussed at the upcoming BRICS summit in Russia’s Ufa.
Russia will offer BRICS partners a "road map", closely linked with the strategy of economic cooperation project, according to Likhachev. This will help finance projects from the New Development Bank (NDB), established by the group of emerging economies last July.
The strategy of economic cooperation has been discussed by Russia and its BRICS partners since 2013. It covers areas such as power, manufacturing, mining, agribusiness, and innovative technologies. These areas develop in the "road map" in a form of multilateral projects of major companies like Rosneft or Inter RAO, along with medium-sized companies, according to Likhachev. Scores of Russian companies’ projects currently participate in it as well, he said.
"We believe that the strategy will be adopted this week in Ufa as a medium-term program of action.”
Russia's Republic of Bashkortostan will host the 7th BRICS summit and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the capital Ufa on July 8-10. 10,000 visitors are expected during the two summits.
‘We don't want Western institutions to dictate us what to do’ – South Africa’s Zuma to RT.
RT.com July 06, 2015 23:40
With the current world bank system having been established a while ago, time has come for new financial institutions to be developed globally, South Africa's President Zuma told RT. BRICS and its New Development Bank is one of such alternatives, he said.
"We’ve had these old banks that have been established many years back. The world has moved, it has developed. For a number of years we've been calling for the transformation of financial institutions, globally," President Jacob Zuma said in an interview with RT's Sophie Shevarnadze.
"An important development of representativity" is crucial for the new kind of banks, Zuma added, saying that in such institutions you need to be part of them to be involved in decision-making process.
"We now have bank that is an alternative," Zuma said, referring to the New Development Bank (NDB), a multilateral institution operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). He added that its existence should not be a problem for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank: "What I think should happen is that these banks must change the way they do things," the state leader said.
"One of the countries which is [ a BRICS member ] is world’s second biggest economy. How could they say 'we don’t want to trade' with such a country? I don’t think that could happen," Zuma told RT, saying the new institution should be treated as an equal partner.
The new system could also help provide African countries with more development opportunities without being dependent on the West, the president believes. The NDB guarantees that whenever people in the third world need funds, "they are going to be provided [with help], they are going to achieve their objectives without being put under more difficult conditions," Jacob Zuma said.
"We’ve had difficulties, even with the help that we get. It comes with so many strings attached," Zuma told RT, adding that the lenders "want to dictate what you should do."
"You can’t utilize that kind of assistance the way you want. So, in a sense, it has conditions that will keep you dependent all the time. That’s what we’re trying to take ourselves out of, and we believe that an alternative bank – like BRICS – does provide an opportunity for us," Zuma said.
African countries are still "doing business with the West," the president added, saying that he wasn't making a call to stop it. "I am saying now that there's an alternative, you can make a choice," he said, adding that "BRICS carries quite a sizeable future for many countries."
Officials of the five major emerging national economies often have consultations, even more of which "at ministerial level" might be needed as the association develops, the South African leader said.
"There’s a great respect among the members. These countries need to work together economically," Zuma said of the block that was initially designed as a group of economic allies. He continued, "It has been important to allow it to flow on its own, because it is a voluntary kind of organization, and if we see the benefits – I think we are going to be in a position to say: Shouldn’t we tighten our relations even more?"
The trade within BRICS, which members account for a fifth of the world's economic output and 40 percent of its population, has been progressively growing, the South African president said, adding that the countries within it "are not necessarily competing with one another, we are not rushing anything, we are just creating an atmosphere where countries must feel that they are really equals."
Last Edit: Jul 7, 2015 16:13:48 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
The Central banks of BRICS countries have signed an operating agreement on the currency reserve pool, according to Central Bank of Russia. The $100 billion pool aims to protect BRICS member states from currency volatility shocks.
The agreement was signed Tuesday in Moscow after the meeting of the Finance Ministers and Chiefs heads of the Central Banks of BRICS, the statement of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said. It contains a detailed description of the procedures which are carried out by the central banks of BRICS states – the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - within the currency reserve pool, defines their rights and duties.
It will come into force on 30 July, according to the CBR head Elvira Nabiullina. She added that several other documents will be adopted to regulate the operation of governing bodies - the Governing Council and the Standing Committee.
China will make the biggest contribution to the pool: $41 billion. Russia, Brazil and India will donate $18 billion each, while South Africa’s investment will be $5 billion.
Nabiullina explained that so far the money remain on the banks’ balance sheets and will be unlocked as soon as any of the BRICS member states ask for help.
In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified a deal to establish a $100 billion foreign currency reserve pool for the BRICS group.
Last July, Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa signed the document to a reserve currency pool worth over $100 billion as well as $100 billion BRICS Development Bank.
The goal of the pool is to give BRICS member states opportunity to provide each other financial assistance in case of problems with their balance of payments.
Earlier, Putin said that Russia expects to launch the $100-billion BRICS New Development Bank along with a currency reserve pool at the BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, which kicked off Wednesday.
Participants in the BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, Meeting of the Board of Governors of the BRICS New Development Bank (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko)
'BRICS New Development Bank may play more important role than World Bank' - VTB CEO.
RT.com July 08, 2015 16:07
The New Development Bank (NDB) is the first institution created by BRICS countries, and is a permanent instrument that will work every day and serve as the heart of BRICS cooperation, VTB CEO Andrey Kostin told RT.
RT: Do you think that this time it will boost Russia-China cooperation and if yes in what ways?
Andrei Kostin: Definitely, yes. The creation of new institutions is quite important to develop a relationship between country members of BRICS, and of course China is a leading nation with the largest economy among the BRICS. So I’m quite sure that this project, together with others like Silk Way, will definitely increase the scope of cooperation between Russia and China in the economic area.
RT: Everyone keeps speaking about this new BRICS bank. What do you think, why is it so important now?
AK: First of all, it’s important because it’s a first institution created by the BRICS countries. Actually we are talking about the institutionalization of the BRICS process, and that’s quite important I think. It’s a permanent working instrument which will be working every day and which will be in the heart of BRICS cooperation. Secondly, the bank - with quite a large capital - will be in the position to provide finance for important projects in Russia and other countries, and I think it will be a substantial player and might be playing an even more important role - for Russia definitely, for example - than the World Bank because the World Bank is not lending money to Russia and Russia isn’t borrowing from it. But I think Russia will be ready to borrow from the New Development Bank.
RT: Do you expect in the near future that the local currencies can be used within BRICS?
AK: Definitely, yes. I think we definitely see the growing interest on all countries to make settlement in local currency. Chinese currency, yuan, is a leading one, but the ruble as well can be used. I think on the part of my colleagues, of Russian leading exporters, I’m quite sure we will see this process quite soon.
BRICS to switch to national currency settlement soon - VTB head.
RT.com July 08, 2015 16:11
BRICS countries will definitely start using their local currencies for mutual settlements quite soon, the head of Russia’s VTB bank Andrey Kostin told RT Wednesday at the BRICS summit in Ufa.
“We definitely see a growing interest from the countries to make settlements in local currencies,” the CEO of Russia’s second biggest bank said. 40-50 percent of all the mutual settlements among the BRICS countries can be performed in domestic currencies, Kostin estimated, RIA reported.
The Chinese yuan as the leading currency can be used in settlements among BRICS member states, Kostin said, adding that the Russian ruble can be used for that as well.
He says there will be a growing interest from leading Russian exporters to the process of switching to national currencies.
The BRICS summit will give a boost to Russia-China relations, Kostin told RT. China is a leading nation and the largest economy among the BRICS countries and mutual projects like ‘Silk Road’ will definitely increase the cooperation between Russia and China economically, he added.
The creation of new institutions is quite important for the development of relations between BRICS members, Kostin said.
Speaking about the BRICS bank, the VTB head stressed the importance of the “first institution created by BRICS countries.” The bank will “be at the heart of BRICS cooperation,“ and in a position to provide finance for important projects in Russia and in other countries, Kostin added.
The New Development Bank will be a substantial player and might have an even more important role for Russia than the World Bank, according to the VTB head.
“The World Bank is not lending money to Russia, and Russia is not borrowing from the World Bank. I think, Russia will be ready to borrow from the New Development Bank,” Kostin said.
The BRICS agreement to forge ahead with a $100 billion New Development Bank (NDB) was signed last year in Brazil. The bank also possesses a reserve currency pool worth another $100 billion. The new bank will finance infrastructure projects in the BRICS countries and across other developing countries. NDB is expected to start functioning by the end of 2015, with its headquarters in Shanghai.
New Development Bank BRICS may approve first loan by April, 2016 – President Kamath.
RT.com July 08, 2015 20:32
President of the New Development Bank (NDB) BRICS Kundapur Vaman Kamath says the bank may give its first loan by April 1, 2016. The bank held a Board of Governors meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, a day before the BRICS summit.
"My first target is that by April 1, 2016 we will approve our first loan," K.V. Kamath told Press Trust of India news agency.
He said the new USD 100-billion Development Bank will change the way multilateral banks operate but pointed out that he regards other international financial institutions such as IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank as "partners, not rivals".
"It will require a lot of cooperation and collaboration with other partners. These partners could be Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other multilateral institutions," the president of the bank said. "It would not be possible for NDB or any one institution to meet all these requirements and therefore we all would need to partner each other," he added.
"There will be no competition at all. The market is big enough for all of us. We all will be major partners in the development of India and other developing markets," Kamath concluded.
At the same time he is sure the NDB has a big potential.
“Our founders have capitalized the bank at a very large number. So, I think we will enter the business in a very strong way,” he also told RT.
Kamath stated that NDB is going to introduce its own standards.
"There are parallels with other multilateral institutions, but we will set our own standards at the New Development Bank," he told PTI.
The NDB president emphasized importance of innovations for the development bank: “Innovation is something that we will try to bring about in the working of the multilateral banks.”
“One of the areas that we will focus [on] is that lenders want the borrowers to follow a certain timeline. We need to see what innovation is required to ensure that this timeline is met or to try and reduce this timeline,” Kamath explained how the crucial role of innovations is for loans from multilateral financial institutions.
The president of NDB is now in the Russian Ural city of Ufa where the BRICS summit is taking place. He spoke there about the possibility of admitting new members.
"We are really looking at expanding membership," Kamath told RT.
"I'm sure the interest will be huge. Africa will be one of the priority geographic zones for searching [for] new members,” he said, TASS news agency reports.
The decision to create the NDB was made at the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, 2013. The appropriate document was signed on July 15, 2014 in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza. On Tuesday the member states signed an operating agreement on the currency reserve pool which is aimed at protecting them from currency volatility shocks. Creation of the mechanism makes the BRICS member states less dependent on international financial institutions.
BRICS is an informal association of five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Its first formal summit was held in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. South Africa joined the group a year later. BRICS is aimed at economic growth acceleration, the joint solution of global problems, developing cooperation and advocating for joint interests in the international arena.
LIVE: Putin holds meeting with General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping.
Ruptly TV Jul 8, 2015
The 7th BRICS summit is due to start in Ufa on July 7. Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are expected to discuss further cooperation between the countires of the bloc, namely within the context of the newly-formed New Development Bank (NDB).
The summit comes ahead of the 15th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on July 9 and 10 also in Ufa. Schedule
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2015 13:34:33 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Russia: Putin welcomes world leaders for 15th SCO meeting.
Ruptly TV Jul 9, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the final day of the seventh BRICS summit before attending a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Ufa, Thursday.
Russia: Xi Jinping calls for establishment of New Development Bank HQ.
Ruptly TV Jul 9, 2015
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his eagerness to establish a headquarters for the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) while speaking on the final day of the seventh BRICS summit in Ufa, Thursday.
LIVE: Ufa hosts second day of 7th BRICS summit.
Ruptly TV Jul 9, 2015
The 7th BRICS summit is due to continue in Ufa on July 8. Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, Iran and South Africa are expected to discuss further cooperation between the countries of the bloc, namely within the context of the newly-formed New Development Bank (NDB).
Russia: Putin hosts reception for BRICS and SCO leaders.
Ruptly TV Jul 9, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted an official reception in honour of the leaders attending the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa, Thursday.
Putin greeted the guests and toasted them, praising all the leaders who came to work together at the summits.
BRICS bank has own goals, not designed to compete with likes of IMF & World Bank – VEB head.
RT.com July 09, 2015 04:51
The BRICS New Development Bank is designed as an alternative and a supplement to existing international “hard currency” financial institutions to help member states finance projects in local currencies, Vladimir Dmitriev, CEO of Vnesheconombank told RT.
The new bank was not intended as a rival and competitor to the existing international institutions, but rather as a useful alternative instrument in order for the BRICS countries to finance their own projects, CEO of Russia’s Vnesheconombank (VEB) told RT on the sidelines of the BRICS/SCO summits in Ufa.
“The decision was made to create a financial institution which is to support economic development in BRICS countries. I would rather say that it’s a complimentary vehicle to be focused specifically on the development of BRICS countries,” Dmitriev told RT.
“I’m completely convinced that the organization will cooperate with other international financial institutions. The intention is not to create a competitor to those institutions,” he emphasized.
In a similar fashion the plan to use local currencies for mutual settlements among the BRICS countries is offering an alternative to hard currencies, especially in situations when member have limited access to the international capital markets.
“One of the goals of creating the New Development Bank is to create, in parallel with existing hard currencies, the mechanism which will allow our country to finance joint projects in local currencies,” Dmitriev said.
While the New Development Bank is designed to help finance investment projects and facilitate trade between BRICS countries in local currencies, the nations also established a $100 billion currency reserve pool opportunity to provide each other financial assistance in case of problems with their balance of payments.
The New Development Bank president Kundapur Vaman Kamath confirmed to RT that a “significant part” of the bank’s activity could be carried out in local currencies.
“I have not applied my mind as to what effect it will have on other currencies,” Kamath told RT. “But as far as our local currencies are concerned, our own countries are concerned, that will substantially reduce any exchange risk.”
“I think clearly setting up of this bank is also a signal that developing countries are now able to stand on their feet in their own way and set up their own institutions,” Kamath added. “And we are really looking at expanding the membership base in the future.”
New Development Bank (NDB) logo. (Image from Wikipedia)
BRICS bank to consider new infrastructure projects by 2016 – finance minister.
RT.com July 09, 2015 15:55
The BRICS New Development Bank will consider the feasibility of new infrastructure projects by the end of the year, and the acceptance procedure will be clear and transparent, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told RT.
“We agreed that the procedures for adopting new projects will be simple, clear and transparent in order to make quick decisions, because the BRICS bank should be efficient and competitive,” Siluanov said in an interview Thursday on the sidelines of BRICS/SCO summits in Ufa. The bank has been launched and the first funding will be awarded at the beginning of next year, he added.
The agreement on the $100 billion BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) was signed by the members last year in Brazil. The bank also has a reserve currency pool worth another $100 billion. NDB will finance infrastructure projects in the BRICS countries and across other developing countries. In May, veteran Indian banker KV Kamath was appointed as the head of the BRICS bank.
The BRICS currency reserve pool will become a small version of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the bloc’s members, Siluanov told Rossiya-24 TV channel.
"It is a sort of a ‘mini-IMF’ for the members of BRICS. In case any of the member states experiences problems with liquidity balance, any kind of unplanned capital outflow or a decrease in the balance on its current account, it will have the right to refer to the currency pool, and the pool will react swiftly, supplying the member state with liquidity to support its balance of payments," he said. On Wednesday, the central banks of the BRICS countries signed an operating agreement on the currency reserve pool.
Last Edit: Jul 11, 2015 5:55:30 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Brazil neither exerts nor supports sanctions – President Rousseff to RT.
RT.com July 10, 2015 00:25
Brazil stands firmly against sanctions as means of political pressure, since they always end up hitting common people, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told RT in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the BRICS forum that she says was “excellent.”
“In Brazil we oppose any policy based on sanctions,” Rousseff told RT Spanish on Thursday, commenting on US and EU sanctions against Russia. “We do not believe that sanctions can solve any problem.”
“On the contrary, sanctions, as a rule, end up punishing the population rather than the government. This is inexcusable,” she added, reminded of a very negative example in Latin America – a 50-year-old US embargo against Cuba which Brazil never supported and instead deepened its cooperation with Havana.
As for the sanctions against Russia, Rousseff confirmed that Moscow can count on Brazil in overcoming their effects, and said the issue was discussed during the BRICS leaders’ meetings.
“We are trying to express our position very clearly in international forums and oppose any such sanctions,” she added. “We do not just oppose sanctions vocally, but also take stances that show our words are backed with deeds.”
The ongoing BRICS summit has already yielded “excellent” results, including a series of measures to kick-start the New Development Bank and the creation of a reserve currency pool for the bloc members.
“I think that this seventh BRICS summit has delivered excellent results for our relations. We have managed to elaborate on certain steps to create BRICS bank: define its management system, and even elected a president and vice-presidents,” Rousseff said. “We have also reached an agreement on creating a common reserve pool. It will serve as a kind of a buffer in case of a financial crisis.”
“Thus, I’m sure, the BRICS summit was a success, and that in addition to its excellent organization, which I mentioned earlier,” Rousseff added.
World needs more development banks like BRICS’, not ‘mindless austerity’ - minister.
RT.com July 10, 2015 12:45
BRICS is gaining momentum as an increasingly effective organization and its New Development Bank is likely to become new source of funding for the current infrastructure gap, South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told RT.
There’s a need for more development banks in the world involved in more developmental finance, the minister said on the sidelines of BRICS/SOC summits in Ufa. And there’s a need to try to tap into more sources of capital while there’s an infrastructure funding gap.
“I believe we will not be guided by mindless austerity which is causing enormous difficulties in some parts of the developed world,” he said.
Speaking about trade and cooperation, the minister claimed BRICS are very interested in moving away from third countries’ currencies as the need to convert into a third currency creates extra costs. The process of switching to domestic currencies involves discussions at central bank level, it’s already happening and the member states are very interested in it, he added.
Trade between Russia and South Africa tripled between 2010 and 2014, but Western anti-Russia sanctions and the price of oil have definitely influenced trade, according to Davies. However, South Africa sees a lot of opportunities for growth and the possibility of important investment projects with Russia as well as with other BRICS nations.
The country never supported the Western sanctions imposed against Russia, and doesn’t believe they are justified, according to Davies. Sanctions have a “negative impact both on Russia and the imposers of those sanctions.”
“During the World Economic Forum in Davos I heard a number of prominent European citizens also decrying the negative impact of the sanctions and the lack of justification for them,” Davies said.
Strengthening ties with Russia will take place regardless of sanctions. South Africa is a fruit and food exporting country and while there is currently demand for such products in Russia, “exporters are ready to step up to the plate.”
BRICS/SCO summits at a glance: New Development Bank, Greece crisis, Iran oil.
RT.com July 10, 2015 20:56
As the BRICS/SCO summits wrap up in Russia, RT looks back at the issues dominating three days of meetings with a launch of $100bn reserve currency pool, high hopes about the New Development Bank and the possible impact of Iran deal on oil among them.
About 10,000 visitors gathered at the two events, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summits which took place in the Russian city of Ufa on July 8-10.
The summits kicked off with BRICS countries agreeing to a $100bn reserve currency pool which aims to protect the member states – the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – from currency volatility shocks.
High hopes about New Development Bank
The BRICS New Development Bank, an alternative and a supplement to existing international “hard currency” financial institutions, has been launched during the summit.
“The decision was made to create a financial institution which is to support economic development in BRICS countries. I would rather say that it’s a complimentary vehicle to be focused specifically on the development of BRICS countries,” Vladimir Dmitriev, CEO of Vnesheconombank told RT.
The bank is going to consider the feasibility of new infrastructure projects by the end of the year, and the acceptance procedure will be clear and transparent, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
“We agreed that the procedures for adopting new projects will be simple, clear and transparent in order to make quick decisions, because the BRICS bank should be efficient and competitive,” Siluanov told RT.
(L-R) Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma attend a press briefing during the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, July 9, 2015 (Reuters / SCO Photohost / RIA Novosti)(L-R) Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma attend a press briefing during the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, July 9, 2015 (Reuters / SCO Photohost / RIA Novosti)
The new bank may give its first loan by April 1, 2016, according to its president of Kundapur Vaman Kamath.
"My first target is that by April 1, 2016 we will approve our first loan," K.V. Kamath told Press Trust of India news agency, adding that "there will be no competition at all.”
“The market is big enough for all of us. We all will be major partners in the development of India and other developing markets."
According to South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, New Development Bank is likely to become new source of funding for the current infrastructure gap.
“I believe we will not be guided by mindless austerity which is causing enormous difficulties in some parts of the developed world.”
The summits agreed that the association will start using their local currencies for mutual settlements quite soon, the head of Russia’s VTB bank Andrey Kostin said.
“We definitely see a growing interest from the countries to make settlements in local currencies,” he said, adding that the summit gave a boost to Russian-Chinese relations.
Shadow of Iran nuclear deal talks
The Iran question, which has been a hot topic in recent days, was also touched upon during the summits.
On Friday Tehran and the six world powers again shifted a deadline for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, with both sides blaming each other.
According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the impact of the Iranian oil that is expected to come to world markets after it signs the agreement on its nuclear program is still difficult to forecast.
“The oil price undoubtedly forms due to market demand and supply and today we see that the instability of financial markets in China has already influenced the price,” he said.
The Greek question wasn’t left unnoticed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Q&A session with journalists on the final day of BRICS/SCO summits.
“Of course, all the blame can be shifted to the Greeks. But if there were violations in their activity, where was the European Commission? Why didn’t it make any adjustments to the economic activity of the previous government of Greece?” Putin asked.
His statement came as Athens’ new deadline to reach an agreement with its troika of creditors – the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission – is set to be reached this weekend. On Thursday night, Greece presented its new reform plan that, critics say, mirrors the bailout deal that the Greeks rejected at the referendum held Sunday.
Vladimir Putin also held 11 bilateral meetings and a trilateral meeting with China and Mongolia in order to foster regional cooperation.
Radio, sputniknews.com/radio_red_line/20150711/1024464439.html Vladimir Sotnikov, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Security, Institute of World Economy and International Relations (studio guest), Gleb Ivashentsov, Russia's former Ambassador to South Korea and Myanmar (studio guest), Manish Chand, CEO and Editor-in-Chief India Writes Network and Rajeev Sharma, independent geopolitical analyst (New Delhi) commented on the issue.
Ufa: New Center of the Multipolar World.
RED LINE 09:00 11.07.2015 Sergey Strokan
Leaders of major non Western powers met at the two back-to-back summits in the Russian city of Ufa to make their voice in global politics more loud and distinct.
00:00 / 00:00 The unprecedented marathon of high international diplomacy kick-started with the BRICS forum – the summit of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The Ufa Summit with Russia as its Chair proved that BRICS is shaping up as a viable alternative to the Group of Seven which is embracing major industrialized economies of the West and by no means can be seen as a “paper architecture” as it was initially described at the West.
The agenda of the forum coined as "BRICS Partnership – A Powerful Factor for Global Development” emphasized BRICS growing ambitions and responsibilities, and its preference to focus on coherent development strategies and wide range of issues – from economics to fighting terrorism rather than on politicizing international relations and being dragged into wars of sanctions.
BRICS summit has set the stage for another summit, held this week in Ufa – meeting of the leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which was seen as another proof that the center of world politics is constantly shifting from the West to the East. The major outcome of the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which was held on the heels of BRICS forum, was granting India and Pakistan – two giants of South Asia SCO – a pass card to full membership in 2016. SCO summit in Ufa also showed that the organization has the potential of further expansion with Iran and Egypt already standing at its doorstep.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 15, 2015 13:11:27 GMT -5
BRICS/SCO sow panic in Exceptionalistan.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
RT.com July 13, 2015 09:04
As austerity-ravaged Europe watches its undemocratic “institutions” grapple with the Greek tragedy, and the US backtracks on a fair nuclear deal with Iran, geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting in the Urals.
Can you feel an inchoate multipolar world? Well, just look right here at the BRICS 2015 Ufa declaration. The EU is hardly featured in the BRICS declaration and not by accident.
Forget about the dead on arrival G7. This – the joint BRICS/SCO summit – is the real deal in 2015. Russia’s diplomatic masterstroke was to merge two summits – BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - with a third, informal meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
After all, some nations with leaders present in Ufa are members of at least one of these organizations. But the absolute key point is that getting BRICS, SCO and EEU leaders in one place packs a graphic punch about the emergence of a coordinated, Eurasia-wide, and in some aspects worldwide drive towards a more equitable world order not dictated by exceptionalists.
And then there’s Iran. President Rouhani met President Putin in Ufa to discuss a formidable range of topics. Not least the coming acceptance of Iran as a member of the SCO, assuming there is a deal in Vienna and after UN sanctions are lifted.
Right on cue, and also not by accident, US President Barack Obama issued marching orders to Secretary of State John Kerry to backtrack from some positions the entire Iran/P5+1 diplomatic corps was already taking for granted – as a top Iranian negotiator confirmed to me in Vienna.
So here’s the not-so-veiled message to Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif: Iran will be “punished” for getting too close to Moscow.
Have strategy, will travel
Only Russia is a member of all three organizations – BRICS, SCO and EEU. Russia and China are key members of two – BRICS and SCO. The Russia-driven EEU is slowly but surely merging with the China-driven New Silk Roads. The key structural framework is the ever-solidifying Russia-China strategic partnership.
As the Pentagon remains self-absorbed in its 2002-concocted Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, Russia and China counterpunch with full spectrum cooperation on politics, economics, finance, diplomacy and defense.
The endgame – which will be the apex of the current New Great Game in Eurasia – is a new global geopolitical structure anchored on Eurasian integration. Thus the importance of Iran: no matter what happens in Vienna, Iran is the vital hub/node in Eurasia.
The road has been long for the SCO. I remember when Euro-bureaucrats only a few years ago dismissed it as a mere talk shop. What started as a security forum to integrate the Central Asian “stans” so they would not be ravaged by terrorism and extremism evolved into a serious economic/political organization.
So now the SCO is starting to add to, and draw upon, the BRICS’s ever expanding economic cooperation, which features two essential pillars: the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB). As for the EEU, it is also indirectly linked to China, as part of the Russia-China strategic partnership.
This will all translate in the next few years into a complex maze of economic and trade/commerce networks traversing Eurasia. Call it the road map of the myriad New Silk Road(s).
Faster! Dust up our war plans!
Here’s just a sample of what has been decided in Ufa: Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping actively discussed, face-to-face, interlinks in the New Silk Road(s); India will become a full member of the SCO next year; Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was appointed chairman of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which will finance infrastructure projects not only in the five BRICS countries, but in other developing nations as well. And all that based in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar.
The NDB has the potential to accumulate as much as $400 billion in capital, according to bank head KV Kamath. The parent capital is $100 billion.
Currency swaps are the way to go. It already applies to Russia and China on trade in futures, and Putin has dubbed its expansion to other nations as “interesting.”
A strategy for BRICS economic partnership has been devised that “touches upon the responsibility of different ministers and requires high-level coordination,” according to Russia’s Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev, which means in essence easier trade between BRICS nations.
Both the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the NDB are headquartered in China. However, they won’t compete with each other; they will add to and complement one another.
Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) signed a memorandum of understanding with the other BRICS. Significantly, China’s Silk Road Fund and India’s IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company) are key partners.
Russia will lift restrictions on Chinese banks working in Russia, accelerating Beijing’s drive to invest in all sectors of the Russian economy.
Russia proposed a roadmap for investment cooperation. Crucially, that includes the possibility of an energy association, according to Putin, as well as an international energy research center.
The subject of energy brings us to Greece. Russia’s Turkish Stream pipeline – yet another diplomatic/energy counterpunch after the EU scored a proverbial own goal by scotching the South Stream – will be linked to Greece.
No wonder that elicited panic in Exceptionalistan. What if Syriza’s “flirting with Moscow” becomes a strategic shift, thus causing NATO’s eastern flank to fall to pieces?
It doesn’t matter that Russia wants a strong EU – and the EU won’t be strong without Greece, as Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized in Ufa.
So what does NATO propose to seduce anyone across Eurasia away from all the frantic BRICS, SCO and EEU politico/economic activity? Nothing less than an obsession with a “strategy rethink.” In other words, detailed “secret” scenarios for a war on European soil.
That’s all one needs to know about who wants what in the new, emerging geopolitical order.
Russia overtakes China as most attractive BRICS country for investment - Bloomberg.
RT.com 20 Jul, 2015 11:13
The Russian market has replaced China to become the most attractive BRICS country for investors in 2015, according to Bloomberg. Pricier oil that has rebounded from a six-year low and easing political risks make it the best BRICS investment bet.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg say Russian shares are undervalued, by up to a half compared with other BRICS countries. Russian shares can be more profitable if the political risks continue to reduce.
One of the two key Russian indices – a ruble denominated MICEX – trades at 5.9 times the projected earnings of its members. For example, Brazil’s Ibovespa, Sao Paulo Stock Exchange Index, shows 12.6 multiples, being the second cheapest in the BRICS. China, India and South Africa are above 15.
“Our models are telling us to buy Russia. There is a very strong turnaround potential. It’s an increasingly difficult call to get right because of politics. I’d be happy to pull the trigger in the next two to three months,” Tim Love, a London-based investment manager at GAM told Bloomberg. GAM’s assets are estimated at $130 billion.
Bloomberg says that in nominal terms, the MICEX has increased by 18 percent in 2015, 4 percentage points less than the increase in the Shanghai Composite Index.However, a record decline in the volatility of the Russian market, along with the increased price fluctuations in China allows profit from investments in Russia and China, with a coefficient of 1 and 0.6 points respectively.
The situation has dramatically changed in 2015, says Bloomberg. While the Chinese markets have lost about $4 trillion, or 30 percent in value in June-July, oil prices have stabilized at above $55 per barrel and the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has settled.
As a result, “a measure of expected price swings, as signaled by options prices, has more than halved to 28 percent, the steepest drop since at least 2006, the earliest date records go back to,” says Maria Levitov, the author of the column.
This is a big contrast to December, when Russian stocks lost almost 9 percent and the ruble hit a record low, making the central bank raise annual interest rates to 17 percent, the highest in more than 10 years.
Since then, the central bank has decreased the rate several times, fixing it at 11.5 percent from June 16.
In April Bloomberg called the Russian ruble the world’s best performing currency of 2015. At its peak it was trading at about 49 to the dollar, but has seen a 13 percent downturn since then.
OPEC’s June decision not to cut crude output is one of the key factors. The Russian Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukayev says the ruble’s weakness due to low crude prices will be temporary, and an exchange rate of 55 to the dollar, plus or minus 2-3 rubles, is the currency’s natural level.
BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has opened for operations in Shanghai, and will seek to deploy its $50 billion initial capital to fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects. Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong and NDB chief Kundapur Vaman Kamath attended the ceremony, China Radio International reported.
At the inauguration ceremony Jiwei was quick to point out that NDB will serve as a complement to the existing international financial system and would focus its efforts on innovation and governance. The same message was echoed by Vaman Kamath.
"Our objective is not to challenge the existing system as it is but to improve and complement the system in our own way,” NDB President Kundapur Vaman Kamath said.
The agreement to establish the NDB was signed by the BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – during the group's sixth summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in July 2014. The main purpose of the new finance infrastructure is to promote sustainable development in BRICS states.
Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal of it reaching $100 billion. Besides the creation of the $100bn BRICS Development Bank, the member states also established a reserve currency pool worth over another $100bn.
NDB's $100 billion pool, called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), is designed to assist member countries at times of currency liquidity crises.
Brazil, India and Russia will each contribute $18 billion to the CRA. South Africa is set to contribute $5 billion. China will be responsible for the largest share of the CRA after contributing $41 billion to the bank.
BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 11, 2015 14:13:42 GMT -5
BRICS mutual trade up 70% in 6 yrs – South Africa president.
RT.com 7 Aug, 2015 10:08
Trade between BRICS countries has increased 70 percent since the group was established in 2009, according to South African President Jacob Zuma. The economies of the five BRICS nations account for almost 30 percent of global GDP.
“BRICS presents an aggregate GDP exceeding $32 trillion. This marks a 60-percent growth since the formation of the grouping," Zuma told reporters on Thursday in Cape Town.
BRICS countries (Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa) produce a third of the world’s industrial products and half of all agricultural goods.
They attracted 20.5 percent of total global direct investment in 2014, an increase of 3.5 percent over 5 years.
"The share of BRICS capital investment on the global markets has also increased significantly from 9.7 percent to 14 percent since 2009," Zuma said.
The group is ready to expand its economic cooperation with partners in key areas such as food production, power generation, the petro-chemical industry, mining, tourism, renewable and nuclear energy, trade, transportation, communications and training, according to the South African president.
The seventh BRICS summit, held last month in Russian city Ufa, reaffirmed the importance of BRICS in the global arena, Jacob Zuma said. He added that the summit’s key achievement was the "entry into force of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement.”
The NDB opened for operations in Shanghai on July 21 with a view to deploying $50 billion in initial capital to fund infrastructure and sustainable development projects. The world’s major banks “see the BRICS bank as an important additional factor in global financial transactions,” said Zuma. The establishment of NDB’s African Regional Centre in Johannesburg is among the group’s plans for the near future, he added.
At the end of July, the BRICS members kick started a $100-billion currecny reserve pool. It aims to protect their national currencies from volatility in global markets.
In 2010, South Africa became the latest and fifth member of the group, which was initially known as BRIC.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 22, 2015 13:30:03 GMT -5
Putin wants to make Russia visa-free for BRICS.
RT.com 22 Sep, 2015 10:59
Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to develop visa-free travel for short-term visits and transit by foreign tourists from BRICS countries, reported the Kremlin website on Tuesday. The deadline to submit proposals is set for October 30.
The BRICS bloc comprises five developing economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Putin has also asked to make legislative changes that will increase the number of Russian ports that allow foreign sea travelers’ entry to Russia.
The idea of visa-free travel within the trade bloc was first proposed in 2013 at the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban. South Africa. It has already provided business people from BRICS easier access to the country, said South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in February.
Among the main projects of the group is the BRICS New Development Bank that opened for operations in Shanghai on July 21 aimed at deploying $50 billion in initial capital to bankroll infrastructure and sustainable development projects. Another is the development of a $100 billion currency reserve pool, intended to protect national currencies from volatility in global markets.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 13, 2015 15:10:57 GMT -5
Brazil wants free trade zone talks with Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.
RT.com 12 Oct, 2015 13:25
Brazil is ready to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The deal is on the agenda of Mercosur, says the Brazilian Deputy Agriculture Minister Tatiana Palermo.
Mercosur is the South American trade bloc that unites Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
“We are the main advocate in the Mercosur bloc with regard of establishing a free trade agreement. We are studying, we are looking at the numbers,” she told Sputnik news agency.
“It is on the list of agreements that we are discussing within Mercosur. So it is already there and when we are talking to our colleagues from the Agriculture Ministry of Russia, we also mention our goal is to start negotiations,” Palermo added.
The EEU is a Russia-led trade bloc established in 2015 on the basis of the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. It currently has five members: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, while Tajikistan is a prospective member.
The EEU ensures free movement of goods and services, capital and labor, as well as a coordinated, coherent and unified economic policy for its members.
Countries like China, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Tunisia, and Thailand are interested in setting up a free trade agreement with the union, as Vietnam did in May this year.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 22, 2015 16:00:14 GMT -5
BRICS bank gets its ducks in a row.
RT.com 20 Oct, 2015 12:57
The New Development Bank (NDB) has started prioritizing projects for 2016, according to Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov.
NDB was established by the BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – in 2014 to complement the World Bank. The bank’s main goal is to promote sustainable development in BRICS states. In July the bank opened for operations in Shanghai with the startup capital of $50 billion.
"BRICS New Development Bank which has already started the selection of next year’s priority projects, will contribute in attracting investment in joint projects in a wide range of industries," Manturov said Tuesday at the first meeting of BRICS industry ministers in Moscow.
Russia has developed a roadmap of trade and investment cooperation with all the BRICS countries through till 2020, the minister added. It includes projects in manufacturing, mining, engineering, energy and many other sectors of the economy. "We are ready to work them out and determine the range of initiatives that will be implemented jointly with the assistance of the new development bank and national mechanisms of support," the minister said.
He also called for eliminating trade barriers between the BRICS countries and the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the Russia-led trade bloc of former Soviet states.
“I suggest elaborating on how to decrease different barriers between the BRICS countries and EEU in order to increase mutual trade, investment and new large industrial projects," said Manturov, adding that: "Eurasian Economic Union is not an exclusive club in which only the CIS countries can be members."
The Russian minister also suggested cooperation between national research and scientific centers. This could significantly reduce the costs of studies while the results could be used in new joint innovation projects, according to him.
During the meeting Belarusian Industry Minister Vitali Vovk announced that Minsk is ready to participate as a partner in BRICS industrial projects.
"Belarus is ready to participate in the projects initiated by the BRICS members and the aim is to improve lives in our countries, therefore we call on everyone to cooperate with our country, and we are ready to participate in all the large-scale projects as a reliable partner," Vovk said.
He added that large industrial holdings of Belarus are ready to transfer technology and arrange industrial output in BRICS member countries.
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