DURBAN, March 27 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin lent his support on Wednesday to the idea of establishing a development bank of the BRICS organization of leading emerging market economies to build up mutual trade and investment.
“Russia supports the establishment of this financial institution. We are working on the basis that if established, it will operate according to market principles,” Putin said at a business breakfast for the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the countries that form the BRICS political organization.
Putin’s support for the development bank came a day after the BRICS finance ministers failed to reach agreement on the bank’s size or the member countries’ contributions to its capital.
The idea of setting up a BRICS Development Bank is seen as an alternative to the Western-dominated World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
BRICS holds a unique place in the global economy, Putin said.
“This is the largest market in the world. Our countries are home to 40 percent of the planet’s population. The BRICS states possess enormous natural resources, have a developed industrial base and professional personnel, and create almost 30 percent of the global gross product,” Putin said.
The BRICS members, who held their first summit as an official organization in 2009, demonstrated an average annual economic growth rate of 4 percent in 2012 compared with just 0.7 percent in the G7 group of industrialized nations, Putin said.