The head of the New Development Bank says the bank wants an international banking system with more than one centre of power.
In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, Dilma Rousseff, the head of the international bank, said that nearly 15 countries have asked to join the New Development Bank.
Rousseff, who used to be the president of Brazil and is now in charge of the Shanghai-based lender, said that it’s likely to accept and approve four or five new members, but she would need to find out which countries they were.
The official said that one of the BRICS bank’s top goals is to spread its geographical presence.
“We expect to lend between $8 billion and $10 billion this year,” she told the Financial Times. “Our goal is to lend about 30% of all the money we give out… in local currency.”
She also said that the NDB plans to start dealing in South African and Brazilian currencies to become less dependent on the US dollar; this is part of the lender’s efforts to diversify the international financial system.
Rousseff says that the international organisation will give loans in South Africa in rand and do “the same thing in Brazil with the real.”
“We’ll try to either change currencies or borrow money. And also in rupees,” she said, adding that the bank already lends money in yuan.
The NDB was started in 2014 by the BRICS group, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Its goal is to fund infrastructure and projects that help the environment.
The bank started doing business for real in 2015. Afterwards, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Uruguay joined. The NDB was set up as an option for the IMF and World Bank, both controlled by the US.