The 5th Summit of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) was held in Durban, South Africa on March 26-27, 2013. Brazil’s President Ms. Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping and South African President Mr. Jacob Zuma took part at the summit. It was the first time that the BRICS Summit was held in South Africa. The 5th Summit also completed the first cycle of BRICS Summits.
The overarching theme of the summit was “Africa : A Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”. Apart from this main theme, the 5th BRICS Summit also focused on developing policy actions in Europe, the US and Japan. It was decided that these policy actions would be centred on efforts at reducing the risks for the world economy. The BRICS leaders identified these risks as economic situations that could potentially spill over into other economies. The leaders also reaffirmed their dedication to the bloc’s original goal to achieve peace, security, development and cooperation worldwide. The leaders said that they would continue to seek to contribute significantly in order to establish a more equitable world.
At the Summit, the most important issue discussed was the creation of the BRICS development bank. The decision to set up the bank was reached at a meeting of the Finance Ministers of the BRICS nations. This meeting also witnessed follow-up discussions on the important financial issues that were also deliberated upon in the two previous summits held in New Delhi and Sanya (China). These include currency swap lines among the BRICS member nations which are likely to be about $100 billion. Experts said that the bank, which will mainly focus on infrastructure financing, would liberate the BRICS nations from the total dependency on the US dollar. They also said that at one time, the BRICS bank might also rival in influence the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both of which are dominated by the US and its allies. The leaders also discussed in detail as to what the bank’s agenda would be, and how it would provide an equitable return on the initial investment.