The idea for a Brics development bank could hold great benefits for Africa by using South Africa as a gateway to the continent; but it must be aligned with the private sector agenda or it will become a burden on the state, said expert panellists at a debate hosted by research and strategy consultants Frontier Advisory.
South Africa joined the Brics bloc of developing economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) early last year. The aim behind the creation of a Brics bank is to have a development-focused finance institution to support and drive commerce between the Brics economies.
According to the experts on the panel, the idea of a Brics development bank is politically driven and could remain just an idea unless some sound reasons for creating it are formed.
Attractive idea, but is it necessary?
Windsor Chan, deputy GM of the China Construction Bank in South Africa, said the Brics bank, if it were to be created, must be aligned to the private sector. Frontier Advisory’s head of research and strategy Hannah Edinger said a Brics bank would be useful to facilitate the spread of information as the Brics economies do not know enough about each other.
Brics proposed to set up a development bank with US$50-billion (R411-billion) in initial assets. All five member countries