BRICS nations-promoted New Development Bank (NDB) promoted does not consider Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a competition and will 'collaborate and co-operate' with AIIB, says the newly appointed BRICS Bank President, KV Kamath.
"NDB signifies developing countries' coming of age; their aspirations to stand on their own feet and raise money and lend for development activities," says Kamath, adding he expects lending to start by Q1 (April quarter) of next fiscal.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Kamath says China has a deep resource pool and is fast on the road to development. Terming China to be a ‘strong member’, he says the bank will support the nation in this moment of crisis in its stock market.
Refusing reports that NDB would provide assistance to Greece, he says the bank has to first decide the timeline to invite other members before anything else.
The bank’s priorities would be to cater to infrastructure needs with uniqueness to understand the borrower’s mindset and structure loans accordingly, he says adding that unlike the World Bank, Development Bank will not be rigid about environment norms and will lend without compromising on its principles.
Below is the transcript of KV Kamath’s interview with Pranay Upadhyay on CNBC-TV18.
Q: What are the priorities of this new development bank and how this would be a different bank - A bank by developing countries for the needs of developing countries.
A: Very simple. New Development Bank signifies the coming of age of developing countries, their aspiration to stand on their own feet and raise money and lend for a development activity. That is a mandate that I, as a president, will have.
Q: There have been reports suggesting that the BRICS Bank would be asked to provide assistance to the Greece. So, could you confirm this?
A: At this point in time, I would not take any heed, because we as a bank have to decide what is going to be our timeline to invite other members.
Q: China is a key factor in this bank. Also, they are the founding member of the bank. Recently, we have seen the collapse of the equity market in China. So, how do you read this situation as?
A: Those things are unconnected. China has been a strong member. It is fast on the growth of development. It has got a deep resource pool. We as a member look up to them to provide the support that could expect a strong partner to provide.
Q: We have heard you saying that the primary focus and the priorities of the bank would be lending for the infrastructure. So, could you spell out what would be the priorities of this new bank and how you are going to cater to the needs of the developing countries?
A: Everyone would say that our priorities are also towards infrastructure. What would be different with this bank is we will come with a very open mindset. A borrower’s mindset - understand what the borrowers want and then structure everything appropriately.
Q: World Bank has very strict norms for environmental issues and other factors like that. So, will the BRICS Bank also emphasize on the same issues?
A: The issue here is not that the environment is not important. Nobody is questioning that. I think it is, rigidity that have been built around some of these thoughts and that is what bothers the developing worlds. We will have to look at it with, that reason I said, we will have to look at it from the borrower’s mindset without compromising on any of underlying principles.
Q: This bank is coming up at a time when China has also founded a new Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIB). Do you see both these banks competing with each other?
A: Not at all. I already had a chat with the AIB president designate. We will collaborate and cooperate because the pie is large enough and we can certainly do things together.
Q: When we can expect the first lending from the BRICS Bank.
A: We are expecting to do the first loan between the April quarter of next year. It is a very tight schedule, but I am sure we will pull it off.