The eighth annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the New Development Bank opened yesterday at the bank’s headquarters in Shanghai, with the theme of “ushering in a new era of global development,” according to the website of the Shanghai municipal government. According to reports from the scene, since its establishment, the New Development Bank has approved 98 projects in its member countries with a total investment of about 33.2 billion US dollars. Among them, 22 Chinese projects have been approved, with a total investment of about 8.4 billion US dollars.
This annual meeting of the Board of Governors is particularly significant for the New Development Bank because it is the first annual meeting of the board of governors under the new president. Dilma Rousseff, who was elected as the new head of the New Development Bank in March, is a former president of Brazil with extensive experience in South-South cooperation. At the annual meeting of the Board of Governors, she repeatedly mentioned the expansion of the New Development Bank and local currency financing, which became the focus of discussion.
The New Development Bank was founded in 2015 by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to support infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, as a complement to existing multilateral and regional financial institutions, and to promote global growth and development. The New Development Bank is better known as the BRICS Bank. But calling the New Development bank a BRICS bank is now a bit outdated. In recent years, the New Development Bank has been expanding its circle of friends. In 2021, the New Development Bank admitted Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay as new members, and this event is the first time that new members will be represented at the annual meeting of the Board of Governors.
At the opening ceremony, new President Dilma Rousseff also repeatedly mentioned welcoming more member countries to join the New Development Bank. She said that while the New Development Bank is often referred to as the BRICS Bank, in fact the New Development Bank is dedicated to helping all developing countries.
In addition, Rousseff also said at the press conference that the New Development Bank is also likely to cooperate with other international financial institutions in the future, so that it will have stronger access to capital, more diversified channels and greater global influence.
Looking ahead, attracting different currencies to finance is another priority listed by Ms Rousseff. At the opening ceremony, Rousseff revealed that by the end of the first quarter of 2023, the financing of the New Development Bank in the local currencies of member countries accounted for 21.5% of the total investment, mainly yuan financing, and the goal of the New Development Bank is to increase the proportion to about 30% within five years.
She said the world was at a historic moment of currency diversification, with more localized currency settlements, such as China and Saudi Arabia starting to use yuan to settle oil transactions. In the future, it is possible to promote the multilateralization of currencies, including digital currencies. This is not a human-led trend, but because the world is moving toward multilateralization and multi-polarization, more currencies will be produced in the trading system.