The World Bank on Tuesday said that it was ready to support the new development bank being established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), in a statement just hours after the groups of emerging nations reached a deal to challenge nearly seven decades of World Bank dominance.
"We welcome the announcement of the establishment of a BRICS development bank and stand ready to work closely with the new bank to end poverty and build shared prosperity throughout the developing world," the World Bank said in a statement, adding that the BRICS Bank could become an "invaluable partner" in the future.
Although details for the new BRICS Bank establishment and operating scale had yet to be announced, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told reporters earlier in the day that a deal was already in place.
"It's done," South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said after meeting with his counterparts. “We made very good progress [and] the leaders will announce the details," he added.
“The finance ministers of the five countries have agreed that the set-up of the development bank is feasible and reasonable," Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei further confirmed to Xinhua, stressing that the new development bank would be complementary to existing development institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Meanwhile, the World Bank insisted that it would do everything in can to assist the BRICS.
"Establishing a development bank is a significant undertaking," the World Bank said, as cited by AFP. "We await the details related to the new bank's financing, governance, and location and stand ready to assist this newest player in global development any way we can."
"For over 60 years, the World Bank has worked around the world building its staff, knowledge, capacity, and expertise in development. We look forward to sharing the expertise we have gained,” it added.
Several analysts around the world heralded the new BRICS Bank as part of a growing shift in the global geopolitical landscape – from Western-dominance to the emerging world.
“Up until now, it (the BRICS) has been a loose arrangement of five countries meeting once a year,” said Abdullah Verachia, director of the Frontier Advisory Group, to the New York Times. “It (The BRICS Bank) is going to be the first real institution we have seen.”
“If they announce a BRICS bank it will be quite something,” added Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs executive who coined the term BRIC, to the Washington Post on March 15.
“At a minimum it symbolizes they can achieve something as political group and means lots of other things could follow in the future. It also means that they will have their own kind of special World Bank, which may aid infrastructure and trade projects.”
The BRICS nations have combined foreign-currency reserves of $4.4 trillion and account for 43 percent of the world's population. Separately, Brazil and China agreed on Tuesday on a currency swap deal that will see up to $30 billion in Reai-Yuan exchanges over the next three years.