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Preparations well underway for BRICS Summit in Fujian province

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-15 07:55

The BRICS Summit, planned for September in China, is expected to promote pragmatic cooperation among member states in a wide range of areas, senior diplomats from the BRICS bloc said on Wednesday.

Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr, vice-president of the New Development Bank, said that the bank is working together with China's Ministry of Finance "to come up with some items that can be announced" at the summit on Sept 3 to 5 in Xiamen, Fujian province.

"For example, a second round of projects that could be announced by September. The establishment of an African regional center in South Africa," he said.

The banker made the remarks on the sidelines of the second BRICS Sherpa meeting, held in Qingdao, Shandong province. The Sherpa meeting was aimed at preparing for the summit-senior diplomats from BRICS member countries who are in charge of coordination are called Sherpas.

The NDB will be involved in financing infrastructure projects under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

"Our bank has as one of its central aspects to support the financing of infrastructure in member countries. We will be able to help the Belt and Road Initiative," he said.

The NDB was set up with an initial authorized capital of $100 billion after the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa signed the treaty for its establishment during the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014. The bank officially opened in Shanghai in 2015.

Alok A. Dimri, joint secretary of Multilateral Economic Relations at the Ministry of External Affairs of India, said there are multiple dimensions and initiatives on which BRICS countries are working together.

"We have the New Development Bank, which works on infrastructure. The BRICS have lots of initiatives in the fields of infrastructure, finance and people to people. It's ongoing," he said.

Among the initiatives he mentioned were the BRICS Film Festival, BRICS youth forum and BRICS academy council, and he added that BRICS countries also had discussions on political security.

BRICS countries have an important role to play in addressing global challenges including the unstable situation in the Middle East, conflicts in some African countries, and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, said Anil Sooklal, deputy director-general of Asia and the Middle East at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa.

"BRICS represents over 40 percent of the global population. When the five leaders meet for the summit in Xiamen, it's not just the five leaders' meeting. It's over 40 percent of the global population." he said.

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