134158286 14292293740091n  Ahead of the 7th BRICS Summit in Russia this summer, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting of the BRICS was held in Washington on Thursday where the officials of the five countries took stock of the preparations for operationalizing the $100 billion BRICS New Development Bank.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the BRICS representatives had reached agreement on launching the bank ahead of their leaders’ summit in July and confirmed that he would chair the board of governors.

The bank is set to be headquartered in Shanghai and India will appoint the first president of the Bank. It will eventually open membership to non-BRICS countries and coincides with plans for the Asian infrastructure development bank spearheaded by Beijing.

Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao and Deputy Central Bank Governor Yi Gang attended the BRICS meet on Thursday.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held unofficial talks with the Chinese officials on the sidelines of the meet in Washington.

The leaders of five of the world’s largest emerging markets will showcase a new currency reserve fund and development bank during the BRICS Summit in the Russian city of Ufa in July.

The group’s growth rate is still above that of the global average and its economic and political weight is increasing, evident from the decision of several European countries to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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