India banks on BRICS as Modi leaves for summit

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left for Brazil to attend a meeting of the BRICS group of emerging powers, hoping to seal the long-discussed deal to open a new development bank. He will be the guest of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff who also hosts the leaders of Russia, China and South Africa on Tuesday before a meeting with South American leaders the next day in Brasilia.
The countries are looking to set up a development bank to finance infrastructure projects as well as a reserve fund to fend off currency and balance of payments crises. The bank and the reserve are being seen as a counterweight to West-dominated financial organisations like the Washington-based World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

‘I look forward to the successful conclusion of major BRICS initiatives, like the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, which have seen significant progress since their launch in New Delhi in 2012,’ he said. He added that the summit will be an occasion for his first meeting as Prime Minister with the leaders of important global partners of India like Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa In his departure statement, the prime minister said, India attaches high importance to the  6th BRICS summit for promoting global economic growth.  Modi expressed hope that the meeting in Brazil would usher in the second cycle of BRICS summits. He said that the meeting comes at a time of political turmoil, conflict and humanitarian crisis in several parts of the world and persisting weakness and risks in the global economy. The PM also said that many emerging economies have experienced a slowdown, which has increased the challenge of pursuing inclusive and sustainable economic development.

Modi said he looks forward for meaningful meetings with them to intensify bilateral relations and exchange views on global and regional development. Earlier, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh giving details of the summit meeting in New Delhi said the leaders of participating countries will discuss on issues relating to mutual concerns.
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