Johannesburg still in running for BRICS bank headquarters: Minister

Johannesburg still in running for BRICS bank headquarters: Minister
South Africa's financial capital Johannesburg is still in the running to be the headquarters of a new BRICS development bank and if designated it can be advantages for the African continent, a minister said on Friday.

South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, speaking at a media briefing, dismissed as speculation reports that said the bank would be headquartered in either Shanghai in China or New Delhi in India.

Davies said the heads of the BRICS (Brazil, China, Russia, India and South Africa) nations will make the final decision about it at the 6th Summit of the grouping that will take place in Brazil next week.The minister said he did not want to be pre-emptive about the decision, but South Africa would motivate a strong case for the USD 100 billion bank to have its headquarters in Johannesburg.

Locating the proposed BRICS Bank in Johannesburg holds advantages for the African continent, he said.

"We believe that as South Africa we put forward a very compelling value proposition on the location of the bank in South Africa and the debate will have to take place," Davies said.

"We have a robust, significant financial sector in South Africa which is also involved in the African continent," Davies said, adding that this presented a huge advantage for the bank to be sited in Johannesburg to be effective in its objective of funding infrastructure investment on the African continent.Earlier in the week, South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the host country for the BRICS bank would not be determined by the size of the financial contribution of individual members.

"The key outcome of Durban (venue of the BRICS summit last year) was that the leaders had agreed to establish the bank. Issues of the final domicile and the presidency of the bank will be discussed by the heads of state," Nkoana-Mashabane said.

"We are confident that the leaders will not be disappointed. Our finance ministers will meet a day prior to the summit to finalise recommendations," he said.

The South African delegation to the Brazil BRICS summit, which will be held under the theme 'BRICS - Inclusive growth: Sustainable solutions', will be led by President Jacob Zuma, who will be accompanied by Nkoana-Mashabane, Davies, and recently-appointed Finance Minister Nhlahla Nene.


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