Bangladesh is looking into joining the BRICS bank a local newspaper is reporting.
The Dhaka-based Financial Express reported, citing unnamed officials in the Ministry of Finance, that Bangladesh is “actively weighing” the possibility of joining the new $50 billion BRICS development bank.
“We will ask the Bangladeshi ambassadors to the BRICS countries to know details about the proposed global bank. After getting details we will decide on our joining in the framework,” the newspaper quoted one Finance Ministry official as saying. “If the details are found favorable, Bangladesh might consider becoming a proud founding-member with a good amount of fund contribution.”
Bangladesh currently gets huge amounts of development funds from a number of multinational institutions including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank. Indeed, in the Fiscal Year 2012-2013, Bangladesh received some $2.78 billion from various donor countries and agencies. Much of this aid goes to building infrastructure to help power the developing economy.
At times, however, Bangladesh has clashed with multilateral institutions like the World Bank over the conditions those agencies attach to their loans. an MoF official quoted by the Financial Express said that Bangladesh hopes the BRICS bank can offer the country loans without as many conditions.
“If the BRICS initiative succeeds, we are hopeful of getting more soft and concessional loans in addition to the continuous support from the existing global and regional lenders,” the official said.
As The Diplomat has previously reported, earlier this month at the 6th BRICS summit in Brazil, the BRICS grouping agreed to the creation of a new multilateral development bank with initial startup funding of $50 billion. The bank will also maintain a currency reserve of $100 billion. The BRICS banks will be headquartered in Shanghai, with the first president of the bank coming from India.
The BRICS bank represents merely one part of a more general push by China to play a more active role in global development. Beijing is also at the forefront of an effort to create another $50 billion development bank, which is being referred to as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. More generally, President Xi Jinping has also launched initiatives aimed at creating a new Silk Road Economic Belt as well as a Maritime Silk Road. All of these initiatives are expected to focus heavily on infrastructure development, which could benefit Bangladesh greatly.
In addition, India is expected to propose the creation of a SAARC Development Bank modeled off of the BRICS bank at the regional grouping’s ministerial council this week in Bhutan.