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BRICS set to bolster financial cooperation

He Wei/Wu Yiyao
Updated: Sep 4,2017 7:06 AM     China Daily

The BRICS countries are expected to reach consensus on financial inclusion, green growth, coordination of international tax affairs and commitment to free trade as they gather in an annual summit to explore novel financial cooperation measures, a senior Chinese official said.

A number of tangible projects, from issuance of development loans to public-private partnerships, are being carried out as the bloc of emerging markets enhances macroeconomic policy coordination, said Vice-Minister of Finance Shi Yaobin on Sept 3.

“We pledged to enhance macroeconomic coordination by using holistic policy tools to promote BRICS’ growth and counter uncertainty in the world economy,” he said.

Under China’s rotating BRICS presidency this year, the group-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-has achieved “unprecedented and pragmatic” results, notably in rolling out specific measures and paths to promote economic collaboration, Shi said.

Three new projects unveiled on Sept 3 are to be financed by the New Development Bank, a multilateral institution set up by the bloc to bolster sustainable growth.

One of them is an offshore wind power project at Fujian province’s Putian Pinghai Bay. The second is a watershed project in the “green heart”, environmentally protected center of Hunan province’s Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city cluster. The third is a pilot project in industrial low-carbon restructuring in Jiangxi province.

The bank, established in 2015, has approved loans totaling $3 billion to 11 programs, with a special focus on environmental protection, carbon reduction, new energy and the improvement of livelihoods, Shi said.

The NDB will use the three Chinese projects as a benchmark and example for incoming projects in other countries, according to NDB President K.V. Kamath. This is among a string of endeavors supported by the bank to jump-start activity in the countries. The bank issued 3 billion yuan ($457.4 million) of yuan-denominated green bonds in July 2016, launched its Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, last month and, on Sept 2, witnessed the groundbreaking of its permanent headquarters in Shanghai, bank officials said.

The countries will also make strides in public-private partnerships by exchanging best practices on government support, regulatory frameworks, institutional arrangements, innovative measures and project management, Shi said.

Other areas of cooperation include boosting the convergence of accounting standards for issuing bonds, related auditing and taxation in a bid to lift the current financial cooperation to a new level, he added.

BRICS nations have registered positive signs of economic growth of late, contributing 50 percent of the world’s economic growth last year.