World Bank chief welcomes new BRICS development bank

NEW DELHI Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:35pm IST

World Bank President Jim Young Kim (L) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands before their meeting in New Delhi July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

World Bank President Jim Young Kim (L) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands before their meeting in New Delhi July 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The World Bank welcomed a $100 billion development bank founded by the BRICS nations and is ready to provide it with technical assistance, the World Bank president said on Wednesday after a meeting with India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi.

The BRICS developing nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - announced the bank last week, saying it would fund infrastructure projects in developing nations - a reflection of their growing importance in the world economy.

The new bank was created in part as a challenge to the global financial order created by Western powers after World War Two, which revolved around the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. But World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who is on a three-day visit to India, played down the challenge.

"The only competition we have is with poverty," he told reporters. "Any bank or any group of institutions that try to tackle the problem of infrastructure investment to fight poverty, we welcome."

The World Bank group was ready to increase its financial support to support job-oriented skills and infrastructure development in India to $15 billion to $18 billion over the next three years, Kim said, from $13.4 billion in the previous three years.

After meeting Kim, Modi said India was interested in the World Bank's knowledge and expertise "rather than dollars" and called on the Washington-based institution to speed up project execution.

"We live in a world where speed matters. Quick execution is essential," Modi said on his Twitter account.

The emerging powers represented by BRICS feel their newfound economic weight is not reflected in their decision-making power at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Larry King)

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