Jul 222015
 
The New Development Bank, which opened today in Shanghai, has been overshadowed recently by the AIIB. The BRICS grouping opened its new bank, the New Development Bank (NDB), at a ceremony in Shanghai on Tuesday. The ceremony was attended by China’s finance minister, Lou Jiwei, NDB president K.V. Kamath, and Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong. The bank is expected to start operations in late 2015 or early 2016, according to Xinhua. The creation of the NDB was announced at the BRICS summit in Brazil in July 2014. The bank was – and is – envisioned as an answer to the current international financial system, which is dominated by the West. Xinhua’s article on the NDB explained that the BRICS countries “have been marginalized in the global financial landscape,” especially at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The NDB is clearly intended as a solution to that problem. As the bank’s website puts it, the NDB is “operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as an alternative to the existing U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund.” Still, despite the NDB being depicted as an alternative to existing institutions, officials have been adamant that the bank is designed to “supplement” rather than supplant the current system. Finance Minister Lou told a seminar that “the NDB will supplement the existing international financial system in a healthy way and explore innovations in governance models,”according to Times of India. Bank president Kamath insisted that “our objective is not to challenge the existing system as it is but to improve and complement the system in our own way.” Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, was similarly upbeat about cooperation in a congratulatory statement on the bank’s opening. “We are committed to working closely with the New Development Bank and other multilateral institutions, offering to share our knowledge and to co-finance infrastructure projects,” Kim said in a statement. “These types of partnerships will be essential to reach our common goals to end extreme poverty by 2030, boost shared prosperity, and to reduce inequalities.” The BRICS bank, like much of the BRICS interactions, is devoted to the idea of equality. “In the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power,” the NDB website explains. The initial capital of $50 billion in the bank will also be “equally shared” among the five founding nations,Xinhua reported, meaning each country (more…)