World Bank ready to work in tandem with proposed BRICS bank

The World Bank has welcomed the proposed launch of a 'BRICS Development Bank', calling it a ''significant undertaking'' and promising to work ''closely'' with the new bank.

At a meeting of their finance ministers in Durban, the so called BRICS group of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – on Wednesday announced a move to set up the development bank and a $100 billion contingency reserve arrangement as a buffer against monetary crises. The ministers had earlier found the plan ''feasible and viable''.

The World Bank said in a statement, ''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,"

"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.

The new bank backed by the five growing powers will likely focus on infrastructure development, a direct challenge to the World Bank.

But details of its establishment and operating scale were still to be sorted out.

"Establishing a development bank is a significant undertaking," the World Bank said.

"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."

China's finance minister Lou Jiwei said the BRICS Development Bank would be "complementary" to the existing development financiers such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

"What we have now (about the development bank) is just a general picture," Lou was quoted by China's state-controlled Xinhua news agency as saying.

Lou said the establishment of the bank "is necessary" to meet the great demand for fund to boost infrastructure development. He said the initial investments have not yet been discussed.

The new bank backed by the five growing powers will likely focus on infrastructure development, a direct challenge to the World Bank.