Davies: No decision on Brics bank

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Rob Davies Pic Independent Newspapers Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Cape Town - South Africa will push for the Brics development bank to be located in Johannesburg, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Friday.

Briefing media in Cape Town on the 6th Brics summit taking place in Brazil next week, Davies said public statements that the “New Development Bank” will be located either in Shanghai, China, or New Delhi, India, was mere speculation.

“There is no decision on the domicile of the bank. It has been agreed... by the heads of state that that would be a decision taken by them,” Davies said.

“Anybody who says there's been a decision up to now...they're simply speculating about the location.”

Earlier this week, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said the location of the US100 billion bank would be in either Shanghai or New Delhi.

Davies said South Africa would put forward a strong case that the bank should be located in Johannesburg.

“We have a robust, significant financial sector in South Africa... one that is also involved in the African continent,” Davies said.

“From the point of view of the functioning of the institution... funding infrastructure investment on the African continent, that being located in South Africa... would be a huge advantage from the point of view of the efficacy of the bank to fulfil that role on the African continent.”

The bank's main objective would be to finance infrastructure projects.

All five Brics countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - would contribute equally to capitalising the bank.

“I don't want to guess what the heads of state will conclude. I think that 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.”

President Jacob Zuma is expected to lead the South African delegation to the summit, which starts on July 15. - Sapa

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