Argentina is one step away from joining the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS group of major emerging economies, Telam news agency reported on Thursday, citing the head of the entity Dilma Rousseff.
Rousseff, a former president of Brazil, told Argentinian Economy Minister Sergio Massa that the NBD’s board of directors had formally enabled her to vote on Argentina’s entry to the financial organization, the outlet said.
“Sergio, I have good news, I found the shortcut. The board of directors has agreed to add Argentina to the bank. It will be announced at the August meeting in South Africa,” Rousseff reportedly told Massa at the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai, adding that “it is the fastest way to go straight to August.”
The lender was established by BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – back in 2014. The five economies of the bloc account for more than 40% of the world’s population and nearly a quarter of global GDP.
The proposal on Argentina’s admission, backed by Brazil, will be discussed at the next meeting of NDB governors scheduled for the first week of August in South Africa.
For Argentina, membership of the bank offers the prospect of accessing financial assistance, the news outlet noted. To meet entry requirements, Argentina will have to make a contribution worth $250 million in sovereign bonds to the BRICS bank from its treasury.
The talks come at a time when the NDB is negotiating with Saudi Arabia on admitting the kingdom as the tenth member of the BRICS bank.
The NDB was launched with the purpose of financing infrastructure and sustainable development in member states and other emerging economies. It also aims to help member states reduce dependence on the US dollar and euro. The multinational lender continues to expand its global reach and already includes Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Egypt. It has lent $33 billion to more than 96 projects in the five founding member nations.
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