Kenya will grace this year’s BRICS bloc business summit that is set for official opening on Monday in China.
The East African country has been invited for the first time ever to take part in the summit to be held at China’s city of Xiamen in Fujian Province as the bloc appears to shift focus to Africa’s developing countries.
Kenya, Guinea and Egypt will send delegations to join their counterparts from South Africa, the sole representative from the continent over the years, as the economic framework is being enhanced to BRICS Plus (+) regime in order to accommodate more countries outside the traditional five-member states.
The summit usually brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The technical committee of the summit however insists that the forum is not limited to the five, given that that it is being expanded in order to play a major role in Security and economy of the world.
This it says will be done through the establishment of the recently launched New Development Bank, NDB, formed with the sole purpose of facilitating the framework’s mandate.
With this foregoing, development projects in Africa and Latin America will henceforth receive greater attention from the bloc’s financial institutions, New Development Bank included and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB.
China’s foreign ministry says plans are on top gear to set in motion partnership arrangements between the BRICS bloc’s New Development Bank and Banks based in Africa.
Former Director of the Institute of World Economy, Prof. Chen Fengying charges that Africa’s developing countries have a reason to smile as they finally have an institution that solely captures their financial aspirations.
“There are many development banks in the world today, the largest being the World Bank. But the New Development Bank owned by BRICS is the only one with developing countries as its backbone,” Said Prof. Chen.
The former director says the forum will now lay the foundation about development in the next decade especially through NDB.
“We have set up this bank. We are using it to tackle real challenges. It is not just a forum. It is a real agency, open to developing countries and emerging markets.” She reiterated.
Prof Chen charged that BRICS Plus is a forum to watch as it now controls almost 23 percent of the world’s economy. Addressing journalists in Beijing, She disclosed that the aim was for the New Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS Economic Institute to serve as substitute to the World Bank.
“The issue of BRICS development has since gone beyond its member States. The New Development Bank is up and running, moving from abstract to more concrete issues. As an open platform, BRICS Plus concerns Africa and Latin America; thus the influence of BRICS will become more comprehensive,” Chen stated.
She added that in order to broaden the scope of their activities and be sustainable in the long run, NDB and AIIB will extend their services to Africa and Latin America to finance development projects.
Prof Chen said BRICS plus is keen to expand the role of emerging markets and not just the five member countries. In this regard, the technical committee says it will strengthen cooperation between BRICS and the United Nations.
On the political front, she sought to allay fears that the ongoing border dispute pitting China and India will come up during the week’s summit saying leaders will not be distracted by what she termed as “small issues.”
True to china’s policy of none interference in political and social disputes touching on friendly countries, Prof Chen made it clear that BRICS will not intervene in the internal affairs of member States, adding that the challenges the leaders of South Africa and Brazil now face were transitional.
She attributed their causes to falling commodity prices, and political and economic instability, saying the solution lay in ensuring proper development.
“The engagements the leaders of South Africa and Brazil will take at the summit will not be called into question because leaders come and go, but nations remain,” she said.
This year’s summit has a three-wheeled driven agenda that will focus mainly on trade, finance and economy. By so doing, BRICS wants to boost efforts towards world economic recovery through openness, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.
It is exactly this mission that pushes BRICS members to continue deliberations on ongoing attempts to introduce protectionism spearheaded by certain western countries.